FAO Schwarz in New York City
</ref> The Fifth Avenue store was closed in January 2004.
D. E. Shaw & Co.
In February 2004, investment firm D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P., acquired the FAO Schwarz brand, the FAO Schwarz stores in New York and Las Vegas, and FAO Schwarz's catalog and internet business. The New York and Las Vegas stores were reopened on Thanksgiving Day 2004.
Best & Co.
In November 2007, FAO Schwarz acquired premium children's clothing company Best & Co., which had plans to expand , but the company ceased business in 2009.
On September 27, 2008, an FAO Schwarz opened up at the Macy's Illinois flagship store on State Street in Chicago. It was the first FAO Schwarz located inside a Macy's. Over 250 locations were expected to follow in 2008 and 2009, though most never opened due to the economic crash of 2008 and the chain's sale in 2009. In 2008 FAO Schwarz contracted with Boston Interactive to create a new look for FAO's web site design to appeal to the new generation of online shoppers.
Toys "R" Us
In May 2009 Toys "R" Us, Inc., the largest toy chain in the United States, acquired FAO Schwarz for an undisclosed price. As a result of the acquisition, Macy's closed the FAO Schwarz shops in its stores. Toys "R" Us planned to continue operating FAO Schwarz's retail store in New York and another in Las Vegas under the same name, along with the company's web site and catalog businesses. However, as a result of the economic downturn, the Las Vegas store was closed on January 23, 2010, just before its lease expired, leaving just the New York City store in the GM Building.
New York City location
The New York City store, located in the General Motors Building at Fifth Avenue and 58th Street in Manhattan, is currently FAO Schwarz's only brick-and-mortar store location and a famous destination in the city. The store was redesigned by architect David Rockwell of The Rockwell Group in collaboration with Paul Gregory of Focus Lighting in 2004. The Fifth Avenue flagship store now features a large open front area and award-winning lighting which includes almost 80,000 LED lights mounted on the ceiling above the main atrium space.
The store contains many unique mini stores featuring create-your-own Barbie, Muppet Whatnot, Make pottery studio and baby dolls. There is currently a push to build similar create-your-own functionality on their website.
The "Big" piano
The New York store was featured in the 1988 Tom Hanks film Big, in which Hanks and Robert Loggia danced "Heart & Soul" and "Chopsticks" on the store's large floor piano. Many people travel from around the world to take a stroll on the now famous "Big" piano.
- FAO Schwarz Website
- History of FAO Schwarz from inception to 2001.
- Article on Right Start's acquisition of FAO Schwarz.
- Article on FAO Schwarz bankruptcy filings.
- Another article on bankruptcy filing and store closures.