Zany Brainy catalog to debut next year

By next year, children’s merchandise marketer FAO (Nasdaq: FAOO) expects to have a Zany Brainy toy catalog up and running. The King of Prussia, PA-based company made the announcement as part of its timetable for implementation of a three-year business transformation strategy.

This year FAO plans to begin cross-marketing the store chains, among other initiatives. Next year, in addition to launching a Zany Brainy mail order book, it will introduce a spring FAO Schwarz edition and begin opening Zany Brainy/Right Start ‘combo” stores.

FAO also reported its results for fiscal 2001. For the year ended Feb. 2, the company had net revenue of $247.4 million The sum consists of the results of operations for 52 weeks for children’s care products retailer The Right Start, 20 weeks for retail chain Zany Brainy, and four weeks for upscale toy cataloger/retailer FAO Schwarz. The company, originally named The Right Start, acquired Zany Brainy in September 2001 and FAO Schwarz in January 2002.

The net loss for fiscal 2001 was $11.3 million, compared with a net loss of $7.7 million for fiscal 2000. The 2001 loss includes $2.8 million in nonrecurring expenses related to the two acquisitions. Internet and catalog sales for the year were $4.5 million.

For fiscal 2002, the company expects net revenue of $565 million-$585 million.

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