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FAO Schwartz
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alex_wlu_82
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Jul 7, 2004, 10:30 AM
 
I heard a rumour that it went / is going out of business.... say it ain't so (5th Ave)
     
gorickey
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Jul 7, 2004, 10:38 AM
 
I'm glad it went out in Kansas City on the Plaza...it made room for the new Apple Store...

The NY store isn't closing...
     
turtle777
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Jul 7, 2004, 10:42 AM
 
Originally posted by alex_wlu_82:
I heard a rumour that it went / is going out of business.... say it ain't so (5th Ave)
gorickey knows about toys.
That explains a lot...

-t
     
gorickey
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Jul 7, 2004, 10:43 AM
 
Originally posted by turtle777:
gorickey knows about toys.
That explains a lot...
A robot is a toy...hence, this bot enjoying toys...
     
turtle777
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Jul 7, 2004, 10:49 AM
 
Originally posted by gorickey:
A robot is a toy...hence, this bot enjoying toys...
And I always assumed gorickey is an industrial strength bot, not just a toy.
Well, you never stop learning.



-t
     
gorickey
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Jul 7, 2004, 10:52 AM
 
Originally posted by turtle777:
     
Millennium
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Jul 7, 2004, 11:07 AM
 
Originally posted by turtle777:
And I always assumed gorickey is an industrial strength bot, not just a toy.
Well, you never stop learning.

Dude; is that one of the old Verbots? I remember those.
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turtle777
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Jul 7, 2004, 11:09 AM
 
Originally posted by Millennium:
Dude; is that one of the old Verbots? I remember those.
Yeah, seems like gorickey is really old...

Well, the newer models are already creeping around.
But they don't match up to the original though

-t
     
velodev
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Jul 7, 2004, 11:13 AM
 
Michigan Ave. in Chicago's FAO Schwartz left a couple years ago... blew me away really. Isn't FAO one of the most exciting places for a child, especially during Xmas or the like.

My wife said it had a lot to do with Wal-Mart and these other chains pushing prices so low and having huge inventories of it. T'is sad...
     
wdlove
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Jul 7, 2004, 11:22 AM
 
The FAO Schwartz closed here in Boston. They still haven't decided what they are going to do about the bear statue.

"Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense." Winston Churchill
     
alex_wlu_82  (op)
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Jul 7, 2004, 12:32 PM
 
Originally posted by velodev:
Michigan Ave. in Chicago's FAO Schwartz left a couple years ago... blew me away really. Isn't FAO one of the most exciting places for a child, especially during Xmas or the like.

My wife said it had a lot to do with Wal-Mart and these other chains pushing prices so low and having huge inventories of it. T'is sad...
Walmart is very unfortunate, but a life saver for low income families.
     
djohnson
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Jul 7, 2004, 01:00 PM
 
It is closed in Dallas.
     
OldManMac
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Jul 7, 2004, 01:57 PM
 
Doesn't sound good to me.
----------------
December 3, 2003

FAO Inc. to file for bankruptcy protection

FAO Inc. announced Tuesday that it expects to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy later this week. The company said that the purpose of the filing was to allow it to sell its FAO Schwarz and The Right Start businesses and assets and to liquidate its Zany Brainy business in an orderly manner.

In August, FAO executives announced it had completed the first round of boutique installations in Saks Inc.'s Department Store Group stores, including two boutiques at the Boston Store in Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa and one at the Boston Store in the Shops of the Grand Avenue in downtown Milwaukee.

FAO and Saks announced an agreement in February in which FAO would install "store-in-a-store" boutiques utilizing its FAO Schwarz, Zany Brainy, Right Start, and FAO Schweetz brands in Saks Department Store Group, which includes stores run by Carson Pirie Scott & Co. in Milwaukee.

In its brankurptcy filing, Schwartz disclosed that it had engaged liquidators to sell inventory of all three of its brands pending the outcome of its efforts to find buyers for the FAO Schwarz and The Right Start businesses and close a transaction by Dec. 15th. If the deadline was not met, the company could be required to accelerate the liquidation of those two businesses and sell remaining assets. Capital Strategies Group Inc., FAO's investment banking consultant, will overseas any acquisition offers.

The company stated that customers and store employees should not see any significant difference in operations at its stores as a result of the filing through the time its wind-down is completed early next year.

The company stated that, based on its recent efforts to sell all or a portion of its business during November, it did not expect any recovery would be available to its common stockholders and that it was taking steps immediately to delist its common stock from Nasdaq.
-------------

This is an older article, but they've filed twice in one year, and a cursory search shows lots of negative feedback on their survival.
Why is there always money for war, but none for education?
     
Zimphire
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Jul 7, 2004, 03:24 PM
 

May Da Schwartz be with you!
     
todrain
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Jul 7, 2004, 05:30 PM
 
The FAO in West Palm Beach was one of the anchor stores of the new City Place downtown redevelopment, but it has also closed.

Kind of a shame, it was a cool store.
     
todrain
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Jul 7, 2004, 05:31 PM
 
oops! Double Post!
     
driven
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Jul 7, 2004, 07:05 PM
 
My kids used to love that store. (We had one VERY close to my house.) It was a treat for them to go in, play with a few things, and occasionally (if they were good) buy one of the overpriced items. <GRIN>

One day we went in and my daughter was sitting in some truck that was in the store. Apparently one of the sales folks sold it a few minutes before.

This is how I imagine the sales-drone's mental process that day:
Let's see? How can we handle this situation: A small (2 or 3 at the time) girl is sitting in this thing we just sold. I could use my brain, be nice and ask her to look at something else? Or ... no ... I could be a moron and start screaming at the little girl to get the heck out of that toy!

Well, he chose the later and caused my daughter to cry for doing absolutely nothing wrong. (I think he even used an obsentity, but I can't be certain.) I know that I heard his raised voice, I looked over, saw my pregnant (at the time) wife's face in shock and my daughter break out into tears.

I calmly walked the two of them (wife & daughter) out of the store. I then went back in.

I asked the sales drone if I could have a moment of his time. He said "I'm busy". I said "I'd like to talk to you in private". He said "no".

So ... I said fine, I'll say what I have to say in front of all of these customers. I then laced into him ten ways to Sunday and made him wish he took me up on the private meeting. Fortunately the manager overheard this and called the employee into a private meeting with HIM.

I left.

That particular store went out of business 6 months later. (No wonder with the way they were conducting business.) My daughter (to this day) has never had the desire to go back into an FAO Schwartz store. Bummer ... they were fun. (I liked the tree!)
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itai195
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Jul 7, 2004, 07:13 PM
 
Went out of business in San Francisco a while ago too. Toys R Us is also in trouble these days, thanks to Target and Wal-Mart.
     
driven
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Jul 7, 2004, 07:18 PM
 
Actually that should be thanks to the consumer who purchases stuff at Target and Walmart instead of Toys R Us.

If the consumer didn't make the decision to buy the product then Target and Walmart would stop selling the product.
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itai195
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Jul 7, 2004, 07:45 PM
 
Interesting, but I don't think blaming the customer is going to get TRU out of trouble. I mean, if consumers would just stop buying Wintel PCs, Apple would be doing great!
     
TheMosco
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Jul 7, 2004, 09:25 PM
 
Originally posted by wdlove:
The FAO Schwartz closed here in Boston. They still haven't decided what they are going to do about the bear statue.
I work right near there, I can see the giant bear there from the office window. I think they would be a great location for an apple store. Considering that the green line doesn't go to lechemere anymore, its annoying the get to the mall because you have to get off and take the bus.
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tooki
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Jul 8, 2004, 01:26 AM
 
Originally posted by alex_wlu_82:
Walmart is very unfortunate, but a life saver for low income families.
Not really. Wal-Mart significantly lowers wages for unskilled workers in areas where they take over, so the poorest people become even poorer.

tooki
( Last edited by tooki; Jul 8, 2004 at 01:32 AM. )
     
Axo1ot1
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Jul 8, 2004, 01:42 AM
 
Originally posted by tooki:
Not really. Wal-Mart significantly lowers wages for unskilled workers in areas where they take over, so the poorest people become even poorer.

tooki
Word.
     
ASIMO
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Jul 8, 2004, 01:45 AM
 
Originally posted by gorickey:
A robot is a toy...hence, this bot enjoying toys...

Uh, reality check: I am the resident robot.
I, ASIMO.
     
Zimphire
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Jul 8, 2004, 01:49 AM
 
Originally posted by tooki:
Not really. Wal-Mart significantly lowers wages for unskilled workers in areas where they take over, so the poorest people become even poorer.

tooki
Actually Wal-Mart usually pays higher than most minimum wage jobs. Which most unskilled worker gets. Not to mention the medical benefits most places don't offer.
     
CaseCom
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Jul 8, 2004, 01:56 AM
 
Sing it with me:

Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world of toys
Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world of toys
Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world of toys
Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world of toys
Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world of toys
Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world of toys
Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world of toys
Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world of toys

     
Zimphire
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Jul 8, 2004, 03:40 AM
 
Originally posted by Millennium:
Dude; is that one of the old Verbots? I remember those.
Ah, but do you remember 2XL?



And the even older Alphie?

     
BasketofPuppies
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Jul 8, 2004, 03:47 AM
 
Originally posted by driven:
Actually that should be thanks to the consumer who purchases stuff at Target and Walmart instead of Toys R Us.

If the consumer didn't make the decision to buy the product then Target and Walmart would stop selling the product.
And that's exactly what the problem was. FAO ignored trends and charged far more than anyone else - including Toys 'R' Us and the mall stores.

Not to mention that many of its stores were located in extremely high rent areas.

It wasn't competition that killed off FAO Schwarz (correct spelling), it was bad management and marketing.
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alex_wlu_82  (op)
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Jul 8, 2004, 09:26 AM
 
Originally posted by tooki:
Not really. Wal-Mart significantly lowers wages for unskilled workers in areas where they take over, so the poorest people become even poorer.

tooki
yeah, good point...
     
alex_wlu_82  (op)
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Jul 8, 2004, 09:29 AM
 
Originally posted by Zimphire:
Actually Wal-Mart usually pays higher than most minimum wage jobs. Which most unskilled worker gets. Not to mention the medical benefits most places don't offer.
also true, like those elderly people at the door that greet you, although i find it hard to believe those people get benefits.
     
gorickey
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Jul 8, 2004, 09:34 AM
 
One of my favorite scenes in Hollywood involved Tom Hanks and this...



Big (1988)

It was because of this movie I had to visit an FAO Schwartz.
     
itai195
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Jul 8, 2004, 11:36 AM
 
Originally posted by Zimphire:
Actually Wal-Mart usually pays higher than most minimum wage jobs. Which most unskilled worker gets. Not to mention the medical benefits most places don't offer.
Unless you happen to be female

Wal-Mart pays higher than mw? I don't really believe that, but I don't really know, either.
     
Zimphire
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Jul 8, 2004, 12:20 PM
 
Originally posted by itai195:
Wal-Mart pays higher than mw? I don't really believe that, but I don't really know, either.
Yes, yes they do. And they have medical benefits.
     
turtle777
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Jul 8, 2004, 12:39 PM
 
Originally posted by itai195:
Unless you happen to be female

Wal-Mart pays higher than mw? I don't really believe that, but I don't really know, either.
Yeah, right, they probably pay 1 cent more then mw.
If Kerry makes it, and raises mw to $7, Wal-Mart is screwed...

-t
     
Zimphire
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Jul 8, 2004, 12:43 PM
 
Originally posted by turtle777:
Yeah, right, they probably pay 1 cent more then mw.
If Kerry makes it, and raises mw to $7, Wal-Mart is screwed...

-t
You guys really have no clue about what Wal-Mart pays do you?
     
boots
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Jul 8, 2004, 12:43 PM
 
Originally posted by itai195:
Unless you happen to be female

Wal-Mart pays higher than mw? I don't really believe that, but I don't really know, either.
A link that has a reprint from "The Nation" on WalMart and labor practices.

from Nation article:
Wal-Mart, which topped the Fortune 500 this year, for the third year in a row, is not just an industry leader: It is an economy leader, the nation's largest private employer by far, with over 1.2 million employees. That number is growing all the time, as Wal-Mart opens new stores just about every week. The average wage is around $8 an hour--and the health plan so expensive and so stingy in its coverage that many workers go without, or depend on the government to pay their medical bills.
Much of the article is about Unions and how unionized stores are using Wal-Mart to pretty-much smack the unions down during contract negotiations. But I've seen similar number for wage and benefits elsewhere.

Take from it what you wish.

$8.00/hr X 40 hr/week =$320
$320/week X 50 weeks (two weeks vacation) = $16,000 gross pay

take out taxes (approximately 14% for FICA/medicare = $2240) and your net salary is $13,760 for the average employer.

For a three person family, the poverty cutoff in the US is $15,260.
( Last edited by boots; Jul 8, 2004 at 12:53 PM. )

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Zimphire
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Jul 8, 2004, 12:46 PM
 
Funny, my aunt works at Wal-Mart. Claims her healthcare isn't the best, but it's cheap. And more than she would get at any other job of the like.

But yeah, the average is $8 a hour. I would agree with that. Well above minimum wage.
     
itai195
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Jul 8, 2004, 12:48 PM
 
Originally posted by boots:
Much of the article is about Unions and how unionized stores are using Wal-Mart to pretty-much smack the unions down during contract negotiations. But I've seen similar number for wage and benefits elsewhere.

Take from it what you wish.
I don't know to expect much more from a retailer, on the one hand. But I know Costco is generally known for good wages and benefits, especially in comparison to Wal-Mart.
     
boots
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Jul 8, 2004, 12:57 PM
 
Originally posted by itai195:
I don't know to expect much more from a retailer, on the one hand. But I know Costco is generally known for good wages and benefits, especially in comparison to Wal-Mart.
snippet from business week.

Interesting how we have a catch 22 between share-holders and labor market (at least in short term analysis).

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Zimphire
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Jul 8, 2004, 01:00 PM
 
What cracks me up is, people complaining about the wage of unskilled work.

WELL DUH. You aren't going to get payed a lot of money for unskilled labor. If you want payed more, go to school. Learn something.
     
boots
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Jul 8, 2004, 01:07 PM
 
Originally posted by Zimphire:
What cracks me up is, people complaining about the wage of unskilled work.

WELL DUH. You aren't going to get payed a lot of money for unskilled labor. If you want payed more, go to school. Learn something.
School past high-school is expensive. Many can't afford it unless they already come from a family with money.

That kind of thinking drives the income gap ever bigger. Hyperbole would say you end up with no middle class. Only an upper class and a "serf" class.

If Heaven has a dress code, I'm walkin to Hell in my Tony Lamas.
     
turtle777
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Jul 8, 2004, 01:12 PM
 
Originally posted by Zimphire:
What cracks me up is, people complaining about the wage of unskilled work.

WELL DUH. You aren't going to get payed a lot of money for unskilled labor. If you want payed more, go to school. Learn something.
WRONG WAY !

The question is why other retailers (like Costco) can afford to pay more to their employees and still be financially very sound and profitable.

It just feeds the notion that Wal-Mart is taking advantage of those who have little or nor rights, because they lack education and opportunities.

-t
     
itai195
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Jul 8, 2004, 01:19 PM
 
Originally posted by Zimphire:
What cracks me up is, people complaining about the wage of unskilled work.

WELL DUH. You aren't going to get payed a lot of money for unskilled labor. If you want payed more, go to school. Learn something.
As established in the mw thread, there will always be people taking these jobs. That's not in question.

(It might also be worth quickly noting that, in a down economy, many skilled workers take low-wage jobs at places like Wal-Mart because they can't find other work)
     
Zimphire
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Jul 8, 2004, 01:55 PM
 
Originally posted by boots:
School past high-school is expensive. Many can't afford it unless they already come from a family with money.

That kind of thinking drives the income gap ever bigger. Hyperbole would say you end up with no middle class. Only an upper class and a "serf" class.
I've known a few single welfare mom's that put themselves through college. You know the state does help you in such instances.
     
Zimphire
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Jul 8, 2004, 01:56 PM
 
Originally posted by turtle777:
WRONG WAY !

The question is why other retailers (like Costco) can afford to pay more to their employees and still be financially very sound and profitable.

It just feeds the notion that Wal-Mart is taking advantage of those who have little or nor rights, because they lack education and opportunities.

-t
If you read, Costco also sells higher quality of merchandise.
     
turtle777
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Jul 8, 2004, 01:59 PM
 
Originally posted by Zimphire:
If you read, Costco also sells higher quality of merchandise.
Pff, I never read.
Do you have a picture of that ?

-t
     
andi*pandi
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Jul 8, 2004, 02:11 PM
 
I'll miss FAO, their bear, their variety, and their atmosphere. But there was no reason for them to charge 150% more for the same toy that Target sells. Occasionally I could find some good deals in there. But I went to a Zany Brainy closing sales last year at Christmas hoping to find some deals--what I found were closeouts that STILL cost more than the same thing at Target or TRU. Of course, not that you can find everything you want at Target or TRU.

That said, I hate WalMart. HATE HATE HATE.

HATE.
     
boots
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Jul 8, 2004, 02:54 PM
 
Originally posted by Zimphire:
I've known a few single welfare mom's that put themselves through college. You know the state does help you in such instances.
They are the exception. Perhaps that has to more to do with public awareness of such programs. Perhaps it has to do with a cultural mindset of defeatism. I certainly don't know. But the statistics are pretty scary regarding enrollment rates and the percentage of children who's parents completed college vs those who's parents have not.

Would you like to invest a little money in a public awareness campaign ala your tax dollars? It would certainly benefit society as a whole....

of course, if you want to shop at these places, we need to have places like this staffed. And college grads are overqualified for most of the jobs at WalMart. Me I'd rather we admit that these people are important to my quality of life and pay them accordingly...stock price be damned.

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boots
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Jul 8, 2004, 02:59 PM
 
Originally posted by Zimphire:
If you read, Costco also sells higher quality of merchandise.
That and they shortchange the stock-holders. A business doesn't have to run with a 30% profit margin to be successful and pay employees a living wage.

Of course, much of this discussion would be moot if employers didn't have to pay benefits. That's going to be a major political change in the next few years regardless of who's in the white house/congress. It's good for a vast majority of the businesses if there was a national heath care system. But that's another discussion.

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boots
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Jul 8, 2004, 03:00 PM
 
Originally posted by andi*pandi:
That said, I hate WalMart. HATE HATE HATE.

HATE.
If you have an opinion, dear, please don't hesitate to let us know.

If Heaven has a dress code, I'm walkin to Hell in my Tony Lamas.
     
 
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