Friday, November 18, 2005

Orthodox Jews turn famous New York camera store into big-time business

On any given day, 8,000 to 9,000 people pass through the front door, sweeping through the various photo, digital and audio sections, intrigued by the conveyor belts above their heads that move the merchandise from one counter to the next. It's a frenetic and loud experience that involves fast-moving lines of customers, all pushing and elbowing to get to the finish line, or in this case, a row of stern-looking cashiers with long beards.

Founded in 1973 by a Hasidic Jew, B&H Photo-Video on the West Side of Manhattan has outlasted local competitors and established itself as one of the biggest and busiest photo-driven retail operations in the country _ if not the world.

Asked how many cameras the store sells every year, business director Herschel Jacobowitz says, "How many quarts of water are in the Hudson?"


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