BBC News suggests in this video that people will pay the high price of buying toys from F.O.A. Schwarz but that the store is no longer offering a sufficiently rich buying experience and that’s why they are in trouble. In plain language they’re saying the iconic NYC toy store has got stodgy and hasn’t moved with the times.
They reference another successful store that lets little girls buy clothes, eat and have hairstyles like their beloved dolls as en enriched buying experience. What’s the equivalent for the boys, a dark cavern where they can lay waste to the world with their very own Thor hammer?
It’s certainly true that many of Schwarz’s current customers have been brought to the store by parents and grandparents who have fond and very vivid memories of the store in its heyday. But is it really stodginess that has caused its shutdown? After all, toy stores mostly prosper just by having a huge number of toys to choose from.
F.O.A. Schwarz themselves have laid the blame fairly and squarely on rising Fifth ave rental prices, that is, the driving force of gentrification in NYC. It is also true that if there was a magic formula for ensuring toy store success apart from endless merchandizing of figures from TV shows and films, everyone would already have done it. But this year’s crop of film superheroes and princesses are the toy stores bottom line in most cases.
Let’s just say goodbye to a NYC icon, feeling sad that we can’t stomp out a tune on the big piano on the ground anymore, will no longer be able to order up our very own muppet or walk into the store and just marvel as the range and beauty of the toys for sale. Goodbye F.O.A. Schwarz.