May 18, 2015

Zombie FAO Schwarz To Shamble From Fifth Avenue To Times Square

FAO Schwarz, the toy brand that wouldn't die, will close its Fifth Avenue store this summer, and it's not coming back. Tourist mobs should be able to find it again next year somewhere near Times Square, possibly in a vast sketchy sunken plaza retail space that used to house fourth tier theme restaurant Mars 2000, and, I believe, a cramped and convoluted Equinox gym.

The zombie brand, which has always been subject to the dual whims of imaginary upscale nostalgia and real estate, went bankrupt most recently in 2009, after which its assets, intellectual and otherwise, were absorbed by Toys R Us. TRU, which itself was taken private by Bain Capital and KKR, have been developing FAO into an in-house brand, while waiting out the 2017 expiration of its Fifth Avenue lease. [I keep wanting to type 'flagship,' but can you have a flagship if you only have one store? I am skeptical.]

FAO Schwarz's Manhattan Store to Close in July as Rents Rise [bloomberg]
Previously: The Daddy Types timeline of FAO Schwarz bankruptcies, store closures, relocations, and buyouts

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