Bon-Ton to sell FAO Schwarz-branded merchandise at nearly 200 stores

All Milwaukee-area locations will begin carrying toys Nov. 4

Bon-Ton will liquidate.

Iconic toy brand FAO Schwarz will be sold in 186 Bon-Ton-owned department stores beginning Nov. 4, including all of the Milwaukee-area Boston Store locations.

The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. headquarters in downtown Milwaukee.

The struggling retailer, based in Milwaukee and York, Pa., will sell the full assortment of FAO Schwarz-branded merchandise both in stores and online.

The Shops of Grand Avenue store in downtown Milwaukee will have a smaller assortment, as the location undergoes a transformation to focus more on its corporate headquarters and office space, according to a Bon-Ton spokeswoman.

“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,” said Chad Stauffer, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer for The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc.

Former Bon-Ton CEO Kathryn Bufano touted several new brands the company would sell, including FAO Schwartz, Under Armor and Vera Bradley, before she was fired in May.

The first 25 children at each location at 10 a.m. Nov. 4 will receive a gift. Guests can also visit the FAO Schwarz toy department and participate in an Instagram photo contest by posing with their favorite toy and tagging the photo #returntowonder and #bontonstyle. Photos posted through Dec. 9 will be entered for the chance to win one of three FAO Schwarz prize packages.

Like many brick and mortar retailers, FAO Schwartz has struggled over the last several years. The company filed for bankruptcy twice in 2003, and briefly closed its flagship store in New York City in 2004.

The toys store was bought by Toys ‘R Us in 2009. In May 2015, Bloomberg reported FAO Schwartz would close its New York City store, citing high rents.

Toys ‘R Us sold off the brand in October 2016 to ThreeSixty Group, a company that designs and distributes toys. Toys ‘R Us filed for bankruptcy in September.

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