Competing With Big Box Stores


Bay Bloor Radio (BBR) is an iconic, high-end customer electronics brand in Toronto, Canada. It is a family-owned business, founded by Sol Mandlsohn in 1946. It has grown significantly over the years based on the founding principles of honesty, integrity and fairness. Over the past 67 years, Bay Bloor Radio continued to offer the best service and latest, high-end consumer electronics to a loyal customer base all from its store at Bay and Bloor St.


Big box stores like Best Buy and the growth of the Internet brought significant competitive threats to Bay Bloor Radio. Its customers suddenly had more convenient locations to shop at and the Internet offered more choice and lower prices.

Then the recession hit and BBR’s President, Mark Mandlsohn thought:

“Fewer customers. More competition. Lower prices. Less profit. Suddenly, everything changed, and not for the better. I asked myself, ‘What would Sol do if he were here?,’ and he answered, ‘Work harder. Work smarter. Do all the little things that your competition can’t or won’t do. Love what you do, and become a hi-fi store again.’”

Mark focused the business on the relationships with high-end manufacturers, personal service his brand had become famous for and on the professional expertise of his sales team. He approached JazLabs to advise on their digital strategy to grow his top-line and bottom-line.


JazLabs consulted with Mark Mandlsohn and his team to explore innovative ways we could use digital to spread the BBR message, service existing customers more conveniently and personally and provide an opportunity to sell online to the entire country.

We built an e-commerce platform that:

  • tells the Bay Bloor Radio story to a global audience, thus extending the brand beyond the city of Toronto
  • extends the in-store showroom online in a synergistic way, showcasing high-end products in a non-catalog manner
  • offers relevant customer service and payment tools to existing customers such as automated turntable clinic bookings, custom quote delivery and online payment methods.
  • offers a robust e-commerce solution that lets returning and new customers across the entire country buy the famed high-end brands that BBR offers.
  • ensures a unified customer experience between bricks-and-mortar and digital by integration with the store’s existing sales management and inventory management software in real-time.
  • offers a customized, administrative tool that lets BBR staff manage all relevant product, campaigns, news and marketing content on the Bay Bloor Radio website.


The platform has allowed Bay Bloor Radio to extend their reach beyond the geographical boundaries of downtown Toronto and they now sell to thousands of new customers distributed across the entire Canada.