01 Jun 2008
In 2005, a year after the venerable toy retailer FAO Schwartz emerged from bankruptcy, Ed Schmults (MBA ’89) became its CEO. “The company was relying on its glorious past but was without a clear brand direction,” Schmults explained to the New York Times (March 9, 2008). With a brand criterion centered on quality, FAO Schwartz now focuses on higher-end toys. The company is also designing its own products with its own brand and has acquired a children’s clothing company.
The chain is now down from forty stores to just three, in New York, Las Vegas, and Chicago. Referring to 2007 compared with 2006, Schmults said that “any time you’re in a tough retail environment and your traffic is up 50 percent, you know you’re doing something right.” He added, “This is a happy place to work. How could it not be? You see kids racing around the store. I hope to be here for a long time.”
Class of MBA 1989, Section F