FAO Schwarz just had its last day opened for customers. The iconic toy store will now close doors and seek another place in Manhattan to return some day.
Wednesday was FAO Schwarz’s last day. The store was crowded with people coming to the iconic place one last time. Even people who haven’t shown particular interest in toys over the years, were there.
“I’ve lived in New York my whole life, and I’ve never been here. I had to come see it before it goes,” says Carmen Thomas of Brooklyn to the New York Times.
FAO Schwarz was at this place in Manhattan since 1986 and it has had a presence in New York since 1862. The high rent costs though are forcing it to close and seek another place. The lease actually is until 2017, but the costs are simply too high even for a conglomerate as big as Toy R Us which owns FAO Schwarz since 2009.
Most visitors yesterday simply browsed around the store one last time. They were playing with the giant piano, taking photos of the huge stuffed animals or having one last taste from the candy in the FAO Schweetz section.
Quite a few visitors were also making last purchases of branded toys and stuffed animals. For some people the store had a sentimental value. ““I used to bring my nephew here, and he would watch the electric trains for hours. You’re not going to take away the Empire State Building, so why would you take away F. A. O. Schwarz?”, says one of the customers.
Lines swerved into the hallways and other sections of the floor as people waited for their final chance to play on the piano. Each person got two minutes of near-cinematic glory. Even still employees say it wasn’t too crazy. This is maybe yet another sign that these days the classic toys are slowly giving way to video games and computers. Why bother coming to the store, even if it is as fun as FAO Schwarz was, when you can order the toy online and have it come straight to your house while in the mean time you play video games.
It’s just part of the changes with time. Even so, FAO Schwarz will be back, hopefully. It may be smaller and in a different place, but it still has something to offer. Until then, though. Simply thank you for all the memories and we hope we will see you again soon.