By Jim Silver (follow me on twitter)
In the early evening on May 27, Toys R Us announced that they purchased the FAO Schwarz stores, their online store, and catalog. This is good news for toy shoppers.
As of right now, Toys “R” Us says that they will be keeping FAO running just as it was, which is both good news and smart. If you don’t follow business news, you might not know that the store was close to shutting down, and unless you’ve been to NY or Las Vegas, you’ve probably never set foot in a FAO Schwarz store.
But you probably have heard of it. The store, which opened in 1862 has long been considered the ultimate “old-fashioned” toy store. It’s a top destination for tourists, and featured in countless movies and TV shows (The piano scene in “Big” jumps to mind.) In fact, when we were growing up, a box from FAO Schwarz for a kid was the same thing as a box from Tiffany for an adult.
FAO always was the place that offered a unique shopping experience, with toys you wouldn’t find anywhere else. That’s not going to change. In fact, we’re predicting that the only things that are going to change are things that you’ll never see related to how the business of the store is run. Think of it this way, both Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s are owned by the same company—Federated Department Stores—but they still have unique merchandise and even different personalities.
That’s what’s gong to happen here. So that means that the FAO experience will still be here for you and your kids—and most likely theirs.