Willis Music’s staff of dedicated musicians taps into the shop's century in business to guide fellow melody makers of all levels among more than 3,000 instruments and a jungle of accessories. Though in-store stock may vary, patrons can peruse racks for catalog items such as a Planet Waves chromatic headstock tuner, which dials in string tension using vibration ($39.99), or they can pacify rampaging folk singers with strums on a ukulele ($37.50+). A Peavey bass amp ($99.99) gives modern and vintage voice to bass guitars, and metal-encased DigiTech effects pedals ($49.99) awaken drowsy ears with four roaring styles of distortion. Customers can beat out rhythms on the skin of a Toca street djembe ($49.90) or browse various other African, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, and Irish hand drums captured, tamed, and refurbished by independent craftspeople.
For more than 60 years, Toys“R”Us has been helping kids be kids and grown-ups to revisit their childhoods by providing one of the largest selections of top-brand toys, electronics, games and everyday baby essentials. Founder, Charles Lazarus, revolutionized the toy business by modeling his stores after supermarkets, providing a variety of options to suit varying ages and interests and offering customers to help themselves and have fun in the process. Today, that sense of playfulness is evident at nearly 600 stores in the United States alone, including a flagship location in Times Square where kids are greeted by a 60-foot Ferris wheel, a 5-ton animatronic T-Rex, and a life-sized, 4,000-square-foot Barbie house.
Beyond everybody's favorite bikes, trains and video games, each Toys“R”Us store keeps its shelves stocked with the season’s must-have toys as well as nostalgic standbys that never go out of style. Time-tested brands such as LEGO, Radio Flyer, NERF and Fisher-Price share the shelves with an expansive selection of electronics for older kids, including Wii U and tablets. And though the company has inspired generations of boys and girls to try their hardest not to grow up, it also strives to ensure budding brains develop right on track by devoting a significant portion of its stores to “smart-play” with a wide selection of electronic learning toys and software.
Toys“R”Us—whose extended family of brands includes Babies“R”Us and FAO Schwarz—has earned a number of awards and recognitions through the years, including a spot on Fortune’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies in 2012. The company has also drawn considerable recognition for its expansive charitable efforts, which include partnerships with the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and Save the Children. This year also marks the tenth consecutive year that the company has partnered with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to collect new, unwrapped toys and monetary donations in its stores to benefit the organization.
The Book and Music Exchange offers up plenty of entertainment at discounted rates. DVDs are priced at five for $25, and DVD box sets are priced at half off the cover price. Bookworms can load up on readables priced at four tomes for $8. A large assortment of used video games, starting at $7.99 for Wii and $4.99 for PlayStation3, put digital skills to decent use. You can also count on finding a rotating selection of CDs, or compact discs, starting at $5.99.
The most popular service is a virus- and spyware-removal service that includes a full PC scan to remove all viruses, as well as free installation of antivirus software (or an update of your current software). Other services include a computer tune-up, wireless network installation, desktop and laptop upgrades, and software installation. Once you drop off your computer and discuss which service you want completed, it usually takes 24 to 48 hours before you can pick up your desktop or laptop.