FAO Inc. announced today it is filing for reorganization under Chapter 11 protection. The chain, which includes FAO Schwarz, Zany Brainy and Right Start stores, previously announced plans to shutter between 75 and 80 stores in 2003. Specifics on which stores will close have yet to be announced. Before the planned cuts, FAO operates 22 FAO Schwarz stores, more than 160 Zany Brainy stores and more than 60 Right Start stores.
"Due to the highly seasonal nature of toy retailing and the need to make inventory commitments and other preparations for the upcoming 2003 holiday selling season, we have established a fast-track timetable for the Chapter 11 process," said president and CEO Jerry Welch in a prepared statement.