FAO Schwarz Is Back — With Piano Mat — At Bon-Ton Department Stores

Image courtesy of Luiz Yassuda

It’s been nearly two years since customers have been able to shop at an FAO Schwarz store. That’s about to change… kind of: Department store chain Bon-Ton will open nearly 200 FAO Schwarz toy departments at stores this holiday season.

Bon-Ton announced Thursday that it will begin selling FAO Schwarz toys online and in newly developed toy departments at 186 of its department stores on Nov. 4.

The new toy department will open in each of Bon-Ton’s department stores, including Bon-Ton, Boston Store, Bergner’s, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s, and Younkers locations in 24 states.

“This cherished brand has been enjoyed by children and families for 155 years and we are delighted to carry this unique toy collection in our stores,” Chad Stauffer, Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer for The Bon-Ton Stores, said in a statement.

The FAO Schwarz toy departments, which will be open year-round, will feature several classic toys from the brand, including the Piano Mat, All Aboard Train Set, Cuddly Plush bear, and other items.

The Road To Resurrection

FAO Schwarz closed its flagship store in New York City back in 2015, marking the first time in 153 years that the store didn’t have a physical retail presence.

At the time, FAO Schwarz owner — and now struggling retailer — Toys “R” Us said the closure was due to the high cost of operating the location on Fifth Avenue, noting that it was looking for other space to house the toy store.

Fast forward a year, and Toys “R” Us had changed its tune, selling FAO Schwarz for an undisclosed sum to ThreeSixty Group, a company that licenses and buys well-known brands.

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