Toys R Us buys troubled high-end reta...

Toys R Us buys troubled high-end retailer FAO Schwarz, where Ha...

There are 7 comments on the The Morning Call story from May 28, 2009, titled Toys R Us buys troubled high-end retailer FAO Schwarz, where Ha.... In it, The Morning Call reports that:

File - People pass a a statue of a teddy bear and a doorman dressed as a toy sholdier as they enter the FAO Schwarz on Fifth Avenue in New York in this Monday, Nov.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Morning Call.

Since: Mar 07

Bethlehem, PA

#1 May 28, 2009
Back in the 60s, FAO was a true "wonderland", filled with unique and innovative toys: Steam engines with working miniature accessories, hand-made toys, from Europe, etc.
Then, it became just like any Toys R Us store, selling the same junk, so this "merger" is a marriage made in Heaven.
One of many

Springfield, IL

#2 May 28, 2009
FAO made a big deal associating themselves with that loser Macy's, what can one expect? I hope they do better with Toys R Us.
USSA

Scranton, PA

#3 May 28, 2009
True that; the Toys R Us in NYC has a life sized animatronic T-Rex, giants statues made from legos and a Ferris wheel. FAO Schwarz has a guy holding the door for you; they’ve lost their luster. Now both stores simply sell overpriced molded plastic manufactured in Taiwan or China.
Dennis Mac wrote:
Back in the 60s, FAO was a true "wonderland", filled with unique and innovative toys: Steam engines with working miniature accessories, hand-made toys, from Europe, etc.
Then, it became just like any Toys R Us store, selling the same junk, so this "merger" is a marriage made in Heaven.
Jim

Chicago, IL

#4 May 28, 2009
I disagree that FAO is a loser. It is a great store. People have a fondness for it as a special destination. FAO has had problems simply because they over-expanded a few years back, and in the process, overexposed themselves.

I think Toys "R" Us will do well with this acquisition if they are able to enhance the two flagship locations as international destinations. The best they could reinforce these stores as something special that people will again travel long distances for as they used or still do for American Girl. The worst they could do is make these glorified Toys "R" Us stores. I don't think that they will do that.

Regarding the FAO shops in Macy's, I think it makes sense for Toys "R" Us to pull out of Macy's and consider the possibility of similarly-sized FAO shops in certain Toys "R" Us stores.

As far as FAO shops in Macy's, I think it was more of an attempt at building hype for both brands rather than an actual success. Macy's claimed that it helped drive traffic to it's Childrens department on State Street. I visited one of the smaller FAO shops at Mid Rivers Mall in St Peter, MO recently and it was unimpressive. It was about the same size as, if not smaller than, the Hallmark card aisle in a Walgreens. I hardly see how its diminutive size could drive traffic, much less create an upscale toy-buying experience, for either brand.

What's more, Carson's, when it was on State Street, also tried the FAO Schwarz store within-a-store circa 2003. It apparently didn't help.

In both cases, this is probably because it wasn't a big enough experience.

All of this suggests something here for Chicago. We have ubiquitous toy store Toys "R" Us offering a couple of special flagship stores that are beyond the ordinary in the form of FAO--destination stores not run under or as the Toys "R" Us. Toys "R" Us will balance the need for economies of scale with the need for FAO Schwarz to have its own identity. This shows that Macy's, the now ubiquitous department store, could in similar fashion, bring back Marshall Field's in at least on State Street and have something special as a destination. This shows others (Toys "R" Us) think a special flagship can work even in this economy.

There is still a huge demand for the return of Marshall Field's. To support that, I further present that a poll of Michigan Avenue and State Street shoppers completed two weeks ago show a whopping 78% still prefer Marshall Field's over Macy's and also would shop a revived Field's on State Street. The results of this survey can be found at http://www.fieldsfanschicago.org

If Toys "R" Us can do well with a couple of special FAO flagship destinations, Macy's could also succeed with a return of Marshall Field's.
sam

Paducah, KY

#5 May 28, 2009
Jim wrote:
I disagree that FAO is a loser. It is a great store. People have a fondness for it as a special destination. FAO has had problems simply because they over-expanded a few years back, and in the process, overexposed themselves.
I think Toys "R" Us will do well with this acquisition if they are able to enhance the two flagship locations as international destinations. The best they could reinforce these stores as something special that people will again travel long distances for as they used or still do for American Girl. The worst they could do is make these glorified Toys "R" Us stores. I don't think that they will do that.
Regarding the FAO shops in Macy's, I think it makes sense for Toys "R" Us to pull out of Macy's and consider the possibility of similarly-sized FAO shops in certain Toys "R" Us stores.
As far as FAO shops in Macy's, I think it was more of an attempt at building hype for both brands rather than an actual success. Macy's claimed that it helped drive traffic to it's Childrens department on State Street. I visited one of the smaller FAO shops at Mid Rivers Mall in St Peter, MO recently and it was unimpressive. It was about the same size as, if not smaller than, the Hallmark card aisle in a Walgreens. I hardly see how its diminutive size could drive traffic, much less create an upscale toy-buying experience, for either brand.
What's more, Carson's, when it was on State Street, also tried the FAO Schwarz store within-a-store circa 2003. It apparently didn't help.
In both cases, this is probably because it wasn't a big enough experience.
All of this suggests something here for Chicago. We have ubiquitous toy store Toys "R" Us offering a couple of special flagship stores that are beyond the ordinary in the form of FAO--destination stores not run under or as the Toys "R" Us. Toys "R" Us will balance the need for economies of scale with the need for FAO Schwarz to have its own identity. This shows that Macy's, the now ubiquitous department store, could in similar fashion, bring back Marshall Field's in at least on State Street and have something special as a destination. This shows others (Toys "R" Us) think a special flagship can work even in this economy.
There is still a huge demand for the return of Marshall Field's. To support that, I further present that a poll of Michigan Avenue and State Street shoppers completed two weeks ago show a whopping 78% still prefer Marshall Field's over Macy's and also would shop a revived Field's on State Street. The results of this survey can be found at http://www.fieldsfanschicago.org
If Toys "R" Us can do well with a couple of special FAO flagship destinations, Macy's could also succeed with a return of Marshall Field's.
Well said. Macymart gets rid of children shoes at State Street. What parent wants to shope at Macy's without a complete children's department; FAO or not.
Bring back Marshall Field's.
Average Joe

Arlington Heights, IL

#6 May 28, 2009
I agree. Toys R Us could operate a few FAO Shwartz stores. In similar fashion, Macy's could operate a few Marshall Field's stores.

Just like Nieman-Marcus is operating Bergdorf Goodman in NYC.

Boycott Macy's. Bring back Marshall Field's to State Street!
Erick

United States

#7 May 28, 2009
Though money is scarce in these tough times, I am still aching for Marshall Fields! Bring it back!

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