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Pleasantville’s Try and Buy Toy Store Closing at Year’s End

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Try and Buy in Pleasantville

Several generations have bought holiday gifts at Try and Buy Toy Store in Pleasantville, but this holiday season will be the last for the popular village shop.

The toy store, located at 45 Washington Ave., will close at the end of the month after 41 years of operation, the owner confirmed Wednesday as rumors swirled on local social media groups. Barry Schwartz and his wife Linda bought the store in 1993, but it has been in business in Pleasantville since 1974. Schwartz announced in an email to customers Wednesday evening that they had been planning to sell the store, but those plans fell through.

“We were thinking about retirement, so we offered to sell our store to extremely experienced and qualified buyers and planned to help them for the first year,” Schwartz stated. “Unfortunately, our landlord took more than four months to decide to offer a maximum 2 year lease. As you know, our store at 5000 square feet requires a considerably large inventory investment which is certainly not worth doing with a two-year commitment. The biggest investment of our life no longer has value because it is now unsellable.”

Building owner Warren Schloat, of Schloat Properties Inc., said Wednesday afternoon he was not aware of the store’s closing.

“I have not heard that,” Schloat said. “I’m here all the time, and I know these people.”

Pleasantville Mayor Peter Scherer told Pleasantville Union Free School District Board of Education members at a Nov. 10 meeting that Schloat planned to knock the building and the one next to it down to build a larger mixed use property. However, Schloat said that while there had been various plans over the years to renovate the property, he had no concrete plans at the present time. No new plans for the building or the property have been submitted to the village building department, said building inspector Robert Hughes.

Schwartz stated in the email he would have to pay $40,000 to $50,000 from the couple’s retirement money to update the credit card system to be compatible with new chip technology. Sales have dropped down to 2005 levels, while expenses continue to increase, he added. He cited the internet sales and lack of interest in traditional toys as factors.

“Daily, we have people who come to the store, utilize the help of our staff, get to touch and feel the toys and then order them while standing in our store on Amazon,” Schwartz said.

Pleasantville Chamber of Commerce President Bill Flooks said he was shocked to hear of the store’s impending closure from a resident Wednesday morning.

“It’s very sad,” he said. “That store is a destination.”

Flooks said he wasn’t sure if the store could immediately relocate somewhere else in the village if its owners wanted to, and that the Washington Street location had been ideal due to size and available parking.

“I don’t know of any (available) spaces in the village big enough for what they need,” Flukes said.

As of Wednesday, the store had large signs posted outside advertising a 30 percent off everything holiday sale.

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