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Toys R Us acquires high-end retailer FAO Schwarz

Old 05-28-09, 09:40 AM
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Toys R Us acquires high-end retailer FAO Schwarz

Toys R Us acquires high-end retailer FAO Schwarz



WAYNE, N.J. Toys R Us Inc. announced early Thursday that it had bought troubled high-end retailer FAO Schwarz, which has struggled for years through bankruptcies amid tough competition from discount stores.

"We will work tirelessly to preserve the distinctiveness and integrity of the FAO Schwarz stores and brand as we grow the business and, indeed, take the brand to even greater heights," Jerry Storch, CEO and chairman of Toys R Us, said in a news release.

Toys R Us will operate FAO Schwarz's flagship store in New York City and a second store at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. FAO Schwarz's Web site and catalog will continue to use the company's name.

The company declined to release financial details of the agreement.

FAO Schwarz was established in 1862 and immortalized in the 1988 Tom Hanks movie "Big." It's best known for its upscale selection of toys but also began to offer its own branded $20-and-under toys during the 2008 holiday season.

It has faced financial difficulty in the past. The company filed for bankruptcy protection twice in 2003, first in January after a weak 2002 holiday season. It was purchased by D.E. Shaw group in 2004.

Toys R Us operates more than 1,500 stores worldwide, including 847 in the United States.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090528/...us_fao_schwarz
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Old 05-28-09, 01:23 PM
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Re: Toys R Us acquires high-end retailer FAO Schwarz

Interesting... that makes TRU the only dedicated toy store around, with KB out of the picture, right? I wonder what the motivation was to save them... around SoCal, at least, the only FAO that I knew of had closed down years ago.

Their major competitors now are the Targets and Walmarts of the world, and they just can't compete in price on the mainstream stuff (they always seem to be a dollar or two more expensive, barring sales), or with Best Buy and co. on video games, barring their awesome sales.
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Old 05-28-09, 03:16 PM
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Re: Toys R Us acquires high-end retailer FAO Schwarz

Probably what they are going to do is expand or incorporate their Babies R' Us Stores in the FAO Schwarz stores.
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Old 05-28-09, 10:56 PM
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Re: Toys R Us acquires high-end retailer FAO Schwarz

Originally Posted by dx23 View Post
Probably what they are going to do is expand or incorporate their Babies R' Us Stores in the FAO Schwarz stores.
Well, they only have two locations (the legendary New York location and Caesars Las Vegas). I was at the Caesars one a few months ago and it was mostly stuffed animals, some high end collectibles and impulse type things (tons of candy on the first floor). It was certainly a big come down from visiting the NYC location in the 90's and having an entire room full of Star Wars merchandise or another with Lego or Barbie or some other toy franchise.

I'd imagine TRU just wants the brand name to stamp on their own in store exclusives, and maybe keep the existing stores and open a few more in tourist/trendy areas (major market cities, Disney Parks, etc.)
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Old 05-28-09, 11:05 PM
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Re: Toys R Us acquires high-end retailer FAO Schwarz

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
Interesting... that makes TRU the only dedicated toy store around, with KB out of the picture, right? I wonder what the motivation was to save them... around SoCal, at least, the only FAO that I knew of had closed down years ago.

Their major competitors now are the Targets and Walmarts of the world, and they just can't compete in price on the mainstream stuff (they always seem to be a dollar or two more expensive, barring sales), or with Best Buy and co. on video games, barring their awesome sales.
Yeah, the only one I remember was at South Coast Plaza and that was a long time ago. Other then that, the brand name never meant much to me and I grew up not really even knowing it was a big toy store.
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Old 05-29-09, 03:00 PM
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Re: Toys R Us acquires high-end retailer FAO Schwarz

I know FAO Schwarz has been distributing toys and plush animals to stores like Macy's, Belk, and TJ Maxx. I imagine Toys R' Us could be looking into expanding that type of distribution deal, specially for the Christmas season.
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Old 05-29-09, 04:39 PM
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Re: Toys R Us acquires high-end retailer FAO Schwarz

Didn't they hire the CEO of FAO a few years ago? I remember he instituted the store design change where they for whatever reason went away from regular shelves of toys to like these little four corner stands of toys. Less toys could be displayed, it was harder to find stuff, and they reverted within a few years.
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Old 06-01-09, 12:06 AM
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Re: Toys R Us acquires high-end retailer FAO Schwarz

Originally Posted by NitroJMS View Post
Well, they only have two locations (the legendary New York location and Caesars Las Vegas). I was at the Caesars one a few months ago and it was mostly stuffed animals, some high end collectibles and impulse type things (tons of candy on the first floor). It was certainly a big come down from visiting the NYC location in the 90's and having an entire room full of Star Wars merchandise or another with Lego or Barbie or some other toy franchise.

I'd imagine TRU just wants the brand name to stamp on their own in store exclusives, and maybe keep the existing stores and open a few more in tourist/trendy areas (major market cities, Disney Parks, etc.)
I was just at the Ceasars location this last week and it was LAME.

Although, I was surprised they had a decent arcade in there, but absolutely nothing for anyone over 10 years old...(with the minor exception of some clearanced out Superman & Joker 12" collectibles).
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Old 06-01-09, 01:31 AM
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Re: Toys R Us acquires high-end retailer FAO Schwarz

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
Didn't they hire the CEO of FAO a few years ago? I remember he instituted the store design change where they for whatever reason went away from regular shelves of toys to like these little four corner stands of toys. Less toys could be displayed, it was harder to find stuff, and they reverted within a few years.

Yes, they did hire the fomer CEO of FAO a few years ago (it was at least 7+yrs ago, back when I was still working for them). At that time, he wanted to bring in more exclusives and if I recall he brought in the Imagairium (sp?) line.
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Old 06-01-09, 02:14 AM
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Re: Toys R Us acquires high-end retailer FAO Schwarz

Is FAO the store with the trojan horse to the left of their entrance? I've walked by it a few times when I am showing relatives around, but never went in. Or even knew what store it was.

E
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Old 06-01-09, 11:30 AM
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Re: Toys R Us acquires high-end retailer FAO Schwarz

Originally Posted by DeltaSigChi4 View Post
Is FAO the store with the trojan horse to the left of their entrance? I've walked by it a few times when I am showing relatives around, but never went in. Or even knew what store it was.

E
Yep, that's it.

http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/inde...ageID=29438381
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Old 06-12-15, 07:48 PM
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Re: Toys R Us acquires high-end retailer FAO Schwarz

The store on Fifth Avenue is closing and looking for a new location.

The same place where Tom Hanks played on the keyboard in "Big"


The iconic F.A.O. Schwarz store on New York City's Fifth Avenue will close its doors.

The brand, bought by Toys R Us in 2009, is not going away, but is yet to find a new place to call home.

The Fifth Avenue location is a popular attraction for many visitors to New York, and the news of its upcoming closure rekindled memories for many.
http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/16/us/fan...hwarz-closing/

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Old 06-13-15, 09:48 AM
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Re: Toys R Us acquires high-end retailer FAO Schwarz

Not enough rich people left to support that location. Paying a premium on the same toys you can get elsewhere for far less cost.
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Old 11-21-18, 08:29 PM
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Re: Toys R Us acquires high-end retailer FAO Schwarz

It is back and now with female toy soldiers in outfits designed by Gigi Hadid.

Iconic toy retailer FAO Schwarz is making its return to New York City after shutting its famed flagship store on Fifth Avenue in 2015, when the brand was still owned by Toys R Us.

Now under a new owner, FAO Schwarz will bring its plush stuffed animals and walk-on piano keyboard — featured in the 1988 movie "Big" with Tom Hanks — back to life, and just in time for the 2018 holiday season. The store opens Friday at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan. FAO Schwarz, meanwhile, has already embarked on expanding around the globe.

The goal is to make the space "experiential" and one that can "deliver theater and can drive customers," David Conn, CEO of FAO Schwarz's parent company ThreeSixty Group, told CNBC last month.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/16/fao-...ooks-like.html



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Old 11-21-18, 09:55 PM
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Re: Toys R Us acquires high-end retailer FAO Schwarz

What a joke. The amount of rental costs and all the awesome New Yorkness of tax, tax, tax, will make sure this store more than likely closes within a year.
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Old 11-22-18, 05:05 AM
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Re: Toys R Us acquires high-end retailer FAO Schwarz

It seems it is more about the experience and nostalgia than actually people going there to buy toys.
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Old 11-23-18, 10:00 AM
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Re: Toys R Us acquires high-end retailer FAO Schwarz

It actually sounds like a good marketing and business plan to me. We are in an age where "the product" has become the experience, the person, the data ... not so much the physical item. Nostalgia is a huge product. I would definitely go to a store like this over yet another box with shelves.

This is where Toys R Us killed itself slowly over the years. It may not have been "an experience" for parents, but it was for kids. They slowly removed the wonder, awe, and experience and became about physical hunks of plastic.

I do agree with DVD Polizei about New York ... however I will profess to having no understanding or desire to understand New York.
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Old 12-07-18, 07:59 PM
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Re: Toys R Us acquires high-end retailer FAO Schwarz

Originally Posted by Abob Teff View Post
It actually sounds like a good marketing and business plan to me. We are in an age where "the product" has become the experience, the person, the data ... not so much the physical item. Nostalgia is a huge product. I would definitely go to a store like this over yet another box with shelves.

This is where Toys R Us killed itself slowly over the years. It may not have been "an experience" for parents, but it was for kids. They slowly removed the wonder, awe, and experience and became about physical hunks of plastic.

I do agree with DVD Polizei about New York ... however I will profess to having no understanding or desire to understand New York.
I don't think it's as much about the experience now as it used to be.. The store may look nice and have a few people dressed up as characters, but the products are still going to be way overpriced and most you can get elsewhere for cheaper.

With Amazon and other online retailers you can get the same price where ever you live. You don't have to pay a higher price because you have to shop in New York City where the productes will be marked up due to the higher costs the store will be paying for rent.

They will have mostly the same items you can get elsewhere online for cheaper. Even though they have their own FAO Schwartz branded toys I doubt they have the same quality or uniqueness they may have had 30 to 40 years ago. You can also buy FAO Schwartz toys at a number of other retailers now too. I remember looking at the Kohl's website on black Friday and they had tons of FAO Schwartz toys on their website for likely a much cheaper price and you got Kohl's cash back with the purchase. I even went into Michael's Arts & Crafts today and there was a whole shelving section and display for FAO Schwartz toys. Older parents and more likely grandparents may be familiar with the store, but I doubt if you ask anyone 16 and under if they have ever heard of FAO Schwarts they would likely say no.

I just asked my 13th year old daughter if she ever heard of FAO Schwartz and she gave me a funny look and said "What's that?".

Last edited by movieguru; 12-07-18 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 12-08-18, 05:35 PM
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Re: Toys R Us acquires high-end retailer FAO Schwarz

Originally Posted by Abob Teff View Post
This is where Toys R Us killed itself slowly over the years. It may not have been "an experience" for parents, but it was for kids. They slowly removed the wonder, awe, and experience and became about physical hunks of plastic.
I went to Toys R Us as a kid in the '80s. It didn't seem that much different from how it looked right before it closed.

Was it different in your area or time?

I do remember that instead of gift certificates they had "Geoffrey Money." That was pretty fun. But I can't think of anything else.
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Old 12-09-18, 02:45 PM
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Re: Toys R Us acquires high-end retailer FAO Schwarz

movieguru — I think you are right about the “nostalgia for FAO Schwartz” specifically. I have never been to one or seen one, but I know what they were. I meant nostalgia in general. It may be pricier (and yes, New York or any big city adds to that) but a store like that is a regional draw — an experience and a tourist attraction — as opposed to an everyday store. I hope that makes sense the way I am trying to explain it.

brayzie — I suppose it is hard to say since we are all comparing against decades old memories from when we were children. Admittedly, I grew up with Children’s Palace rather than TRU, but I do recall it being very different. I recall them having toys out for kids to play with, having events at the store, and regularly having characters that would be in the store. Displays would be monuments to a toy line, not just a few rows or pegs. Like I said, maybe I am misremembering that though.

Edit to add: Another variable may be our ages. I was born in the mid-70s and grew up in the 80s which may have been the heyday of it all.
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