Saturday, May 30, 2009
Oh, for the good old days...
Ownership in toy history changed hands on Thursday, May 28, 2009 as retail toy giant Toys "R" Us completed the purchase (for an undisclosed sum) of the financially failing competitor, FAO Schwarz.
The Schwarz flagship New York store on 5th Avenue at 58th Street will remain open and operating under the historic brand name as will the Las Vegas branch store, which has become a tourist attraction at the Forum Shops of Ceasars Palace, and whose entrance is guarded by a 47-foot tall replica of a Trojan Horse.
In a thoughtful statement made to the press, Toys “R” Us Chairman and CEO, Jerry Storch said, “We have enormous respect for the FAO Schwarz brand and for the special place it holds in the hearts of children everywhere.” He added, “Building upon this storied tradition is a responsibility we take very seriously.”
In addition to maintaining the two retail locations, and offering existing employees of the two stores continued employment, Toys “R” Us will take over operations and maintain the name of the FAO Schwarz e-commerce and catalog divisions, but will be closing down all in-store locations at 260 Macy’s department stores.
Hard to believe, that after 147 years, America’s oldest toy retailer, with a long a rich history of selling some of the world’s finest and most unique toys, was taken down by the great recession of 2009.
How many of you have special memories of a visit to an FAO Schawrz store, and how many have danced upon the giant keyboard?