What will happen with the stuffed animals after FAO Schwarz closes

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What will happen with the stuffed animals after FAO Schwarz closes
Image credit: Flickr (CC) / Silveira Neto

With the biggest toy store in the world, FAO Schwarz, closing, fans are asking one thing: What will happen with all of the stuffed animals in the store?

With its lease expiring and a much higher rent needed to keep the space, FAO’s owner, Toys “R” Us Inc., opted to close the store, Bloomberg reminds us. The store may open at another place next year at the earliest. This means that FAO Schwarz will be no more for at least a year, maybe more.

This also means that for the first time in 153 years, the brand won’t have a store. This is a big turn around since the golden days of the stores more than a decade ago. The store was a tourist attraction, it was featured in movies and it was simply a place to visit in Manhattan.

Even all of that couldn’t help the chain. Back in 2003 it had 23 stores all over the USA. But it had to close them all except the one in Manhattan and the one in Las Vegas. In 2008 the FAO Schwarz reappeared in a smaller factor in Macy’s stores.

In 2009 Toys R Us purchased FAO Schwarz and closed all stores except the Manhattan one. By that time the store had changed places several times in Manhattan but it always had another store opened. It was at its current Manhattan location since 1986. But the high rental costs proved too much.

So what does all of this means to the thousands of toys and stuffed animals that called FAO Schwarz home and waited in there to find their owners? Well it is a bit of a sad story with a potential happy ending. All of the toys will be packed and moved to a warehouse. Some will be relocated at Toys R Us stores which will continue to carry the FAO Schwarz brand. You will also be able to order them via the Toys R Us online store.

In the mean time they will wait for the new store location to open. That may take a while though, as the company still hasn’t found a suitable place.