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Toys ‘R’ Us Buys F.A.O. Schwarz

May 29th, 2009: Lee Valentine says...
Toys ‘R’ Us Buys F.A.O. Schwarz

Toys ‘R’ Us just announced that it has acquired financially ailing toy store icon F.A.O. Schwarz. While it has only a couple of locations (at Fifth Avenue in New York City and at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas), F.A.O. Schwarz is 145 years old and its flagship Manhattan store draws in millions of visitors each year. This makes F.A.O. Schwarz an historical gem in the Toys ‘R’ Us crown.  During the fourth quarter of last year, cost cutting measures gave Toys ‘R’ Us an 11% rise in profits even as sales declined.

For the detailed story follow this link.

4 Comments »

4 comments

  1. misuba says:

    Weird, I thought both companies were in Chapter 11. Or something.

    Not much of a story here for hobby gaming, of course, unless this somehow keeps TRU from disappearing in a puff of smoke and baby clothes.

  2. Lee Valentine says:

    F.A.O. Schwarz was in bankruptcy. KB Toys went bankrupt. Toys ‘R’ Us is not bankrupt, to my knowledge. Toys ‘R’ Us, America’s largest toy and game retail chain, owes debts totalling in the billions and is still buying up other companies (eToys.com, F.A.O. Schwarz) and is showing profits.

    I thought (potentially wrongly) that any major toy/game retailer having the financial power to buy up other stores at this point is pretty noteworthy. Toys ‘R’ Us is surviving against online discounters, and is outliving other major toy and game vendors around the nation.

    In a time where many a FLGS is going under and where hobby games (particularly CCGs and RPGs) being available in major book stores, toy stores, and big box stores constantly threatens the income flow of FLGSs nationwide, I figured that the health of the biggest toy retailer was potentially newsworthy. Toys ‘R’ Us is important enough to the hobby game channel that I have heard of quite a few FLGSs buying their Hasbro products from Toys ‘R’ Us for retail resale, since the big sales at Toys ‘R’ have at times historically been better than the hobby game channel discounts that Hasbro gives to hobby game retailers.

    Sorry if I made a bad news pick.

  3. misuba says:

    Nah, we’re here having a conversation, therefore it’s a news pick in my book.

    I was actually in a TRU not long ago and the games selection seemed strong as ever… kinda surprising. What’s impressive to me is that a high-ender like FAO hasn’t elected to pick up the growing Euro-game trend and market something to grown-ups.

  4. Michael Erb says:

    I thought this was pretty newsworthy. For a lot of the big game/toy companies, they live and die by these places. I also have picked up several games through Toys R Us, good ones actually, and for a lot of consumers these toy stores and Wal-Mart are the only exposure they have to the gaming hobby.

    I don’t know a lot about FAO Schwarz and what kinds of games they carried, but this might be a good “in” for some companies that were carried by Toys R Us.

    ME

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