October 1, 2010

FAO Schwarz Coming Soon To A Toys R Us Near Your Downmarket Neighborhood

So 18 months after buying the crumbling premium brand, and 18 months before the lease expires on its only remaining retail location, Toys R Us is readying a Christmas plan to roll out F.A.O. Schwarz products into its 595 big box locations around the country? And this:

"It's a complete and unmitigated disaster," Howard Davidowitz, chairman of the retail consulting firm Davidowitz & Associates, said of F. A. O. Schwarz. "This business has been losing money forever, and has had a multiplicity of owners over the years, and everyone failed."
Meanwhile, from the Daddy Types Department of Totally Called That:
For the last 21 years, the only reasons for F.A.O. Schwarz's continued existence have been a couple of real estate deals and a steady supply of bigger retail fools to hold the bag.

And Tom Hanks. Because as soon as the Fifth Avenue lease gets bought out, TRU will try to morph FAO into a premium in-house brand, where the only giant piano playing is in your head.

On the other hand, the plan to launch a line of FAO Schwarz organic baby food was a real shocker. Really thinking outside the big box, there, Bain Capital.

Toys 'R' Us Plans Overhaul of F.A.O. Schwarz Brand [nyt]
Previously: FAO R Us: The complete history of FAO Schwarz's bankruptcies


Never been much of a fan of FAO or Toys R Us. But saddest move on so many levels has been the appearance of FAO shopping bags (for sale!) at Toys R Us stores.

I already have a section of really sad FAO Schwartz branded toys in my local Toys R Us (sharing shelves with Twilight merchandise, which is puzzling).

Is this different?

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