FAO Schwarz opens first European store in London

FAO Schwarz opens first European store in London

American toy store chain FAO Schwarz has opened its first European store in the Selfridges department store on London's famous Oxford Street. The former subsidiary of Toys ‘R’ Us has renewed its commitment to international expansion.

 

Floor pianos and life-sized bears

The American chain has resumed its expansion: the luxury sister of Toys ‘R’ Us’ was originally dragged into the latter company’s financial difficulties, but has now started to open new stores. After the opening of a store in Beijing, it is now Europe’s turn, with the first store opening in London.

 

FAO Schwarz is best known for its large stores full of shopper experience, such as life-sized teddy bears and floor pianos that you can walk over. In London, the 157-year-old brand has moved into a 2,000 sqm building in the Selfridges department store on Oxford Street - the second largest store globally for the brand.

 

"Pushing the boundaries of retail"

In the store, more than 2000 different product lines are to be sold, according to Retail Gazette. Items on offer include those from the chain’s own brand, but also A-brands such as Playmobil and Lego.

 

Under the new owner ThreeSixty Group, FAO Schwarz wants to further expand on all continents. Last year, the chain reopened its store in New York, which had closed its doors in 2015; now, COO Jan-Eric Kloth is planning to expand in Canada, China and Europe. His goal is to "push the limits of traditional retail with [...] customised on-site experiences and activations."