F.A.O Schwarz, the toy store featured in 1988’s Big, shall close the doors of its Manhattan Fifth Avenue store on July 15. The company cites increasing rent prices as the reason for shuttering. It hopes to find a new, more affordable location elsewhere in NYC. This particular store — the last remaining location for a brand that once boasted 40 stores throughout the U.S. — opened in 1870 (although it relocated several times throughout Manhattan until 1986). With this announcement, 145 years of nostalgia have been dashed:
Until a new location opens, customers will have to rely on online shopping or the toy store’s boutiques in Toys “R” Us, which owns F.A.O. Schwarz. “The company is committed to the F.A.O. Schwarz brand and growing its legacy,” a Toys “R” Us representative said in a statement on Friday.
The longstanding brand at one time had 40 stores nationwide, but the 5th Avenue landmark, in the General Motors Building, is the last remaining location.
The toy store moved multiple times throughout New York City before settling in its current home in 1986 between 58th and 59th Streets.
F.A.O. Schwarz will continue to sell products on its website, so you can still buy overpriced, stuffed giraffes if the urge strikes. This news is somewhat comforting, but consumers everywhere will miss the tactile experience of placing their hands upon a $1,500 Swarovski crystal-studded Etch-a-Sketch or a $300,000 3-D motion simulator.
(Via Hollywood Reporter)