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FAO Schwarz is making a comeback

FAO Schwarz is coming back.The toy store is opening new locations, including a new flagship in New Yo...

Posted: Oct 9, 2018 10:55 PM
Updated: Oct 9, 2018 10:55 PM

FAO Schwarz is coming back.

The toy store is opening new locations, including a new flagship in New York in November.

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FAO Schwarz was famous for its Fifth Avenue store, where Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia performed "Heart and Soul" and "Chopsticks" on the floor piano in "Big." It closed the Fifth Avenue location in 2015.

Consumer products company ThreeSixty Group, which also owns Sharper Image, acquired FAO from Toys "R" Us in 2016.

Under its new owner, FAO plans to open airport stores, including at New York's LaGuardia Airport, and in Canada. It has also started selling inside Kohl's.

But its new 20,000-square-foot store at 30 Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan will be the company's top priority. The Wall Street Journal first reported the plans in August.

The store will be staffed with product demonstrators, magicians, and costumed actors as well as sales clerks, the Journal reported.

"Everything we are doing revolves around 30 Rock...That's the anchor," David Conn, CEO of ThreeSixty Brands, told CNBC on Tuesday.

Bob Phibbs, chief executive of New York-based consultancy the Retail Doctor, believes FAO's plan is flawed.

"Instead of developing a strategy that reaches younger shoppers, FAO Schwarz has chosen to tap into '80s nostalgia by featuring in-store spectacles. It's outdated and doesn't show a fundamental understanding of their customers," he said.

FAO will face tough competition from big retailers that have expanded their toy selections in recent months to fill the void left by Toys "R" Us' bankruptcy.

Target (TGT), which reported double-digit toy sales growth last quarter compared to a year ago, has been buying up extra toys.

"Given the strong affinity between families with young children and our brand, both toys and [baby] are key categories for us," Target CEO Brian Cornell told analysts in August. Toys "R" Us closures created "unique opportunities" to drive traffic and capture market share for Target, he said.

Walmart (WMT) has announced plans to increase its new toy selection in all stores by 30% and expand its website assortment by 40%.

It is bringing hundreds of exclusive brands to aisles and holding in-store toy demos. Walmart is also partnering with Ryan, a first-grade YouTube star, on "Ryan's World" — a line of toys he created.

Amazon (AMZN) is making a heavy push on toys, too.

"Amazon is gearing up to take disproportionate share this holiday season," Jefferies analyst Stephanie Wissink said in a report.

And FAO also isn't the only dead toy store brand attempting to revive itself.

Toys "R" Us said in a court filing last week that it is considering "a new, operating Toys 'R' Us and Babies 'R' Us branding company."

The plan would "create new, domestic, retail operating businesses under the Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us names, as well as expand its international presence and further develop its private brands business."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 295295

Reported Deaths: 6724
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19672230
Hinds18799386
Harrison16710278
Rankin12685264
Jackson12592226
Lee9687160
Madison9457199
Jones7962146
Forrest7208136
Lauderdale6833226
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Lamar588080
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Union395374
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Hancock347374
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Sunflower318386
Tate302474
Pike300195
Scott293870
Alcorn291861
Itawamba289975
Yazoo289262
Tippah278765
Copiah277857
Coahoma277568
Simpson274878
Prentiss269758
Wayne253841
Marion252678
Leake252471
Covington248879
Grenada247377
Adams234377
George231745
Newton229652
Winston221675
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Attala206569
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Holmes182270
Clay179150
Stone172429
Tallahatchie170539
Clarke169371
Calhoun157828
Smith152731
Yalobusha144836
Greene127633
Walthall124140
Noxubee122829
Montgomery122438
Perry121634
Lawrence120321
Carroll118225
Amite111533
Webster110630
Jefferson Davis101731
Tunica99023
Claiborne98429
Benton93324
Humphreys92827
Kemper90223
Quitman77114
Franklin76119
Choctaw69516
Jefferson62527
Wilkinson62426
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 493769

Reported Deaths: 9931
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson710731374
Mobile36139727
Madison32425455
Tuscaloosa24184410
Montgomery22586500
Shelby21968215
Baldwin19758283
Lee14967153
Morgan13667251
Calhoun13300286
Etowah13184319
Marshall11262209
Houston10104261
Elmore9385185
Limestone9363134
Cullman8897181
St. Clair8827223
Lauderdale8607211
DeKalb8459175
Talladega7523163
Walker6524255
Jackson6495102
Autauga627091
Blount6102127
Colbert6004118
Coffee5249102
Dale4642107
Russell404930
Franklin399177
Covington3960106
Chilton3876100
Escambia377672
Tallapoosa3588142
Clarke343650
Chambers3413110
Dallas3403141
Pike293472
Lawrence283484
Marion281995
Winston246867
Bibb245060
Geneva239970
Marengo236455
Pickens224654
Barbour211651
Hale210568
Fayette200756
Butler196866
Henry182441
Cherokee177038
Monroe166139
Randolph163740
Washington156535
Crenshaw144854
Clay144454
Macon142043
Cleburne137839
Lamar132833
Lowndes131151
Wilcox121825
Bullock116936
Conecuh106724
Perry105627
Sumter98531
Coosa88923
Greene88232
Choctaw55123
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