FAO Schwarz Vacating its Flagship Fifth Avenue StoreNEW YORK, May 15 (UPI) — Iconic toy store FAO Schwarz is closing down its prime Fifth Avenue location in New York due to rising rent costs, the company said Friday.
Toys “R” Us, the parent company of the toy store, said it is exiting its current lease early and will officially close shop July 15.
“The decision to vacate this space is due to the continuing rising costs of operating a retail location on Fifth Avenue in New York City,” the company said in an email to UPI.
Toys “R” Us is looking for another location in midtown Manhattan to relocate the flagship FAO Schwarz store.
“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,” the email said.
FAO Schwarz, which first opened as Toy Bazaar in 1870, has been at its current Fifth Avenue location since 1986.
The venerable toy store declared bankruptcy in 2003, after which it radically changed its business strategy. It shut down nearly 40 branches and returned to its roots selling specialized toys, not mass-market items the likes of which can be found at many big box stores.
Toys “R” Us bought FAO Schwarz in 2009.