Thursday, May 28, 2009

The evil empire of toy stores

Ok, maybe I was a bit more dramatic than I needed to be, but that was my first reaction when finding out today that big box toy store Toys R Us (sorry, my keyboard doesn't do a backwards R) has purchased FAO Schwartz - the iconic New York City toy store.
Apparently, it is part of a TRU plan to consolidate the toy industry. They're trying to fight off the mega big box Walmart - who is now the biggest retailer of toys in the US.
TRU has already adjusted it's model a bit by making a move to retailing non-toy products in some of it's stores - selling things like laundry detergent & cleaning supplies.

TRU says that FAO will keep it's name, it's website and it's product mix, but call me dubious that a toy store who has decided to start selling non-toy product will keep FAO the way it is. I remember when Zany Brainy lost their focus when The Right Start took them over and don't hold a lot of hope for the future of FAO and it's unique way of selling toys.

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