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Tuesday, October 09 2018 11:56

Return to Wonder: FAO Schwarz Announces NYC Opening and International Expansion Plans...

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It's been an incredible (and unusual) year for toys, and as I happened to come across a small selection of FAO Schwarz-branded toys at Kohl's this past weekend, I was reminded that one piece of news that many have been waiting for is the full details on the opening of the new FAO Schwarz flagship store in New York City. Today, we know that November 16, 2018 will be the official opening date of the NYC store located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The new store will feature over 20,000 square feet of FAO Schwarz signature toys and items from partners such as Melissa & Doug, Marvin's Magic and Build-A-Bear as well as FAO Schweetz in partnership with IT'SUGAR. But that's not all...

The new store will feature bring back some of FAO's classic retail experiences including the iconic dance-on-piano from BIG, magic shows, a baby adoption center, a kids' grocery shopping experience, and a build-your-own RC race car station, among others. It's been promised that many of these experiences will be duplicated with FAO Schwarz international partner locations, offering the world the one-of-a-kind toy retail experience the brand is known for. 

FAO Schwarz Reveals International Expansion Plans:

  • In partnership with Canada's Hudson's Bay, all 89 stores across the country will open pop-up FAO Schwarz shops, ranging in size from 300 to 1,200 square feet. Items will also be available at www.thebay.com.
  • A 27,000 square foot flagship will open in China via Kidsland China in Beijing slated for March of 2019. Additional stores and pop-ups will open over the next few years.
  • In partnership with Selfridges in London, UK, the team will open a pop-up for the holidays in early November 2018 as part of their "Selfridges Rocks" Christmas Shop.
  • Spain's El Corte Ingles will open an FAO Schwarz pop-up in Madrid in early November 2018 through the holidays.
  • In partnership with Australia's Myer Australia, FAO Schwarz will open a pop-up in their two flagship stores in Sydney and Melbourne as a part of their Giftorium Event starting in late October.

"The expansion to these countries further exemplifies FAO Schwarz as a global kids lifestyle brand," said David Conn, CEO of ThreeSixty Brands, owners of FAO Schwarz. "FAO Schwarz was built on in-store experiences, which has made it a global destination over the years. In partnering with these amazing companies around the world, we are able to bring back that wonderment of toys and a deep nostalgia for the larger than life experience that FAO Schwarz has offered to parents and children alike for over 150 years."

While we have a few of the FAO-branded toys that Toys "R" Us once sold as a house brand, our girls have never experienced an FAO Schwarz store. Might have to make another trip to NYC soon...

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, has contributed to The Toy Book and writes a regular Star Wars column - Transmissions from a Galaxy Far, Far Away for The Pop Insider. He also regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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