FAO Schwarz is the oldest toy store in the USA and has a huge collection of stuffed animals and other toys. Sadly it will be shutting down in July 2015.
The store is situated on 767 Fith Avenue in the heart of Manhattan, New York. Next to it is the main Apple store and across from it is the Plaza. FAO Schwarz has been there for 153 years, but the rent prices have gone way too high even for the owner – the conglomerate Toys ‘R Us.
There is some good news, Toys ‘R Us is saying to Bloomberg that it is commited to the brand and it is already searching for a new location in Manhattan. The goal is to reopen the store there next year.
Until then Toys ‘R Us stores will continue to sell all of the FAO Schwarz products, so you will still be able to find those unique stuffed animals and other toys. There is now word what will happen to some of the famous landmarks in the store like the Eiffel tower built of LEGOs, the giant piano keyboard and all of the other cool stuff there is. The store also features lifesize toys and a workshop to create Muppets.
The store was founded in Baltimore in 1862 by German immigrant Frederick Otto Schwarz. It moved several times until settling for 55 years on Fifth Avenue, then switched to its current location across the street to the General Motors Building nearly three decades ago. According to Daily Mail the next location is possibly going to be somewhere near Times Square.
In a statement about FAO Schwarz’s closure on Fifth Avenue, Toys R Us said it was ‘sad to say goodbye’ to the store’s location, but said it was ‘committed to the brand and growing its legacy. ‘We are excited about the opportunity to create a new flagship location in New York City that will no doubt delight generations of children to come’, the company says.
So not all is lost. But if you can, you better head off to FAO Schwarz in the next month for a goodbye tour. If you can’t go or haven’t been to the store yet, here is a nice video tour of it.