Europe’s first FAO Schwarz flagship destination has opened at Selfridges London Oxford street store. It is the first time America’s oldest and most prestigious toy retailer has ventured into Europe on such scale in its 157-year history.
At over 22,000 sq. ft, FAO Schwarz at Selfridges is the second largest FAO Schwarz destination after the Beijing store. The current New York location relaunched last November was the first FAO flagship to open under ThreeSixty Group’s ownership marking the highly anticipated return of the iconic toy store to the city in which it first opened in 1870.
“Selfridges is the perfect partner for FAO Schwarz in the UK and to start our expansion into Europe,” said Jan-Eric Kloth, COO at ThreeSixty Group, owners FAO Schwarz. “It truly is the best department store in the world and is fully aligned with our goal to innovate and push the limits of traditional retail with our customized on-site experiences and activations.”
“FAO Schwarz is the premiere global brand in toys and today it is certainly the most dynamic experience and customer-driven within its field,” said Martyn Stroud, Director of Home and Toys at Selfridges. “We are thrilled to bring the wonder, excitement, and passion for toys at the heart of FAO Schwarz and offer them to our customers. The pairing of our brands, both originated by American founders and steeped in a shared sense of showmanship and outstanding customer service is a perfect fit.”
FAO Schwarz is designed to be a destination of imagination and discovery, showcasing an experiential retail experience. Customers – especially children – can expect to be fully engaged with the space and its interactive offerings, such as Build Your Own Race Car, which enables shoppers to customise and build their own remote car from scratch, and My FAO Doll which enables children to acquire their doll through an exclusive immersive experience. Additional play and exploration experiences include FAO’s iconic Rocket Ship, Clock Tower and, of course, FAO Schwarz’s famous dance-on piano. Piano dancers will be on hand to teach customers of all ages and skill levels how to simultaneously dance and play songs.
FAO Schwarz’s hand-selected toy ambassadors and product demonstrators are also on hand to provide a shopping experience with showmanship, thoroughly supporting the whimsical and theatrical wonderment FAO has always been known for.