In the U.S. as we get ready for Thanksgiving plans, we hope you and yours have a safe Holiday with your friends and families. In addition, we appreciate all of the hard-working people who keep everything in our country moving! Of course, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are on our minds too and those of our clients as they embark on the next several busy weeks of work then analysis. The analysis always follows Peak Season for us at Argon & Co!

FAO Schwarz reopens in New York.

  • CNBC (and everyone else) reports that toy retailer FAO Schwarz is coming back to New York City after closing their famous store on Fifth Avenue in 2015, when they were own by Toys R Us (now closed). FAO Schwarz (has new owner) brings back their brand stuffed animals and that walk-on piano keyboard from the movie “Big” with Tom Hanks. The store opened last Friday, November 16th at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan. CNBC says, “Brands featured in the 20,000-square-foot 30 Rock store include two of those also owned by ThreeSixty — electronics from The Sharper Image and toys from Melissa & Doug. There are walls of Barbie dolls, a Build-A-Bear Workshop station, a racetrack for kids to play with cars, a space where a magician will teach tricks, a candy shop and so much more for visitors to do there, beyond shopping.”

Gap closing “hundreds” of stores.

  • Retail Dive reports that The Gap, Inc. has made the decision to close “hundreds” of flagship stores. In the same story, they are touting a rise in profit from their Old  Navy brand. According to GlobalData Retail Managing Director Neil Saunders, “Shutting stores is a response to the problem, rather than a solution to the problem,” he told Retail Dive in an email. He sais the issue is that they aren’t selling the right products in their stores. Old Navy rose 4% above the 4% rise last year and Gap fell 7% after their 1% rise; and Banana Republic rose 2% after last year’s 1% decline (its fourth consecutive quarter of positive comps, List-Stoll said), according to a company press release.

Walmart introduces interactive toy playing.

  • Walmart released two days ago, that the retail giant has opened a “digital playground,” as they “get serious” about toys in today’s marketplace. In the press release, they introduced  The Walmart Toy Lab at It’s a digital playground where kids can play with 20 of the retailer’s “Top Rated by Kids” top toy list right from their computer or tablet. To see how it works, here is a link to their video. To be a kid today…

Photos courtesy of Walmart Media Kit

As of September 8, 2020, Crimson & Co (formerly The Progress Group/TPG) has rebranded as Argon & Co following the successful merger with Argon Consulting in April 2018. 

Bruce Strahan

[email protected]

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