FAO Schwarz, located on New York City’s Fifth Avenue, will soon be closing, the New York Times reports.
The iconic store closing its doors has shocked thousands, but some don’t find it to be too much of a surprise. In the past several years, FAO Schwarz, which at one time had 45 stores throughout the United States, has been struggling with higher rent costs and competing discount toy stores.
Toys R Us Inc., which acquired the NYC store in 2009, says they hope to find another Manhattan location for the shop and have it opened by late 2016, according to CNN Money. One rumored location is the basement space in the 48-story office tower at 1633 Broadway, just north of Times Square.
After 145 years, FAO Schwarz is closing the doors of its NYC store in July. pic.twitter.com/XmyHrBLBs9
— HollywoodLife (@HollywoodLife) May 16, 2015
While the company searches for a new location, the line of FAO Schwarz toys will be sold at Toys R Us. They are also trying to find jobs for the nearly 200 employees the company employed at other Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores in New York and New Jersey
“The company is committed to the FAO Schwarz brand and growing its legacy,” Toys R Us said in a statement. “While we are sad to say goodbye to our current location, 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.”
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) May 16, 2015
Toys R Us has been considering leaving the building for over a year and a half and has hired brokers at CBRE Group Inc. to sublease the building before their rental agreement expires in 2017.
“In working with the property owner, the company was able to agree on an early exit in advance of the 2017 lease expiration, providing the opportunity to realize meaningful rent savings,” the retailer said.
FAO Schwarz will officially close their doors on July 15.
[Photo via Stuart Monk / Shutterstock.com]