FAO Schwarz to close Fifth Avenue store

Another iconic retail property is set to close as F.A.O. Schwarz said it will close its Fifth Avenue location July 15, due to rising rents. The toy retailer will continue to operate as boutiques within Toys R Us stores and online.

The company announced it will close the 45,000 sq. ft. store on Friday and is looking for another location in midtown Manhattan. According to the company, F.A.O. Schwarz is the oldest toy store in the United States and has operated a location in New York City since 1870, with the current Fifth Avenue address housing the store since 1986.

F.A.O. Schwarz's parent company Toys R Us has undertaken a five-year turnaround plan with the strategic goal of strengthening the foundation of the company to increase revenue and profits. The TRU Transformation, as it was presented during the company's 2014 fiscal review, also included the next steps for 2015, including a revamp of the customer experience.

Although America's largest toy store had some setbacks in 2013, when it lost $1 billion in revenue, the company has gone back to the basics by focusing on improving customer loyalty and the in-store experience, according to Chairman and CEO Antonio Urcelay. The toy retailer recently announced it was building out its mobile presence, adding a new tool to its arsenal of mobile weapons: 3D imagery. The retailer has partnered with Slyce to power visual search for m-commerce.

But for the time being at least, F.A.0. Schwarz will have limited presence in New York City.

For more:
-See this Bloomberg Business story

Related stories:
Toys R Us adds visual search
Toys R Us commits to TRU Transformation
Toys R Us, Babies R Us announce new strategic partnerships
Toys R Us creates personalized Black Friday ads with video technology
Toys R Us fighting to return the old-fashioned way: It's actually fighting

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