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FAO Schwarz to open first European flagship in London’s Selfridges

FAO Schwarz is following up its successful return to retail in New York City last year with the opening of its first European flagship store in London.

The 20,000 square foot store will take up residence in Selfridges on Oxford Street, London and will feature the full FAO Schwarz collection of toys and unique experiences.

The Selfridges location, set to open on November 1, 2019, will be inspired by the New York FAO Schwarz flagship at 30 Rockefeller Plaza with its unique brand of theatre and experiential retail.

"We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Selfridges to bring FAO Schwarz to London," said Jan-Eric Kloth, COO at ThreeSixty Group.

"Similar to FAO, Selfridges is an iconic retail brand that delivers amazing experience and theatre to its customers, therefore this was the perfect place for us to be.

"FAO Schwarz is a global brand that stands for experience and wonder. As we open our doors with our new flagship store in Beijing, China this spring, and a new flagship store at Selfridges in November, we are thrilled to continue bringing our unique brand of retail to new markets and consumers."

Signature toys and interactive experiences will aim to cement FAO Schwarz as a place of ‘imagination and discovery while staying true to key elements of the brand,’ reads the press release. This will include the famous clock tower, popular dance-on grand piano, and FAO’s newest icon, the rocket ship.

The new store at Selfridges will also feature similar experiences to the New York location with in-store demos that "instil the wonderment, theatre, and "play" that FAO is known for."

"FAO Schwarz is the world’s most inventive and inspiring toy store and the perfect partner for Selfridges’ reimagined Toy Department," added Eleanor Robinson, director of associates, Kidswear and Toys at Selfridges.

"We like to think of Selfridges as a retail playground; the unparalleled product and experience that FAO Schwarz will bring to our Oxford Street store will mean that sentiment has never been more true."

One of the new experiences to look forward to, as first introduced at the New York FAO Schwarz flagship, will be the "FAO Raceway" where shoppers are invited to work alongside trained "mechanics" to build remote-control cars piece-by-piece with the option to customise their car’s body style, colour, wheels, and designs.

ThreeSixty Group and Selfridges are jointly working with third-party brands to introduce even more exciting experiences for customers. The pair will be revealing additional details about this one-of-a-kind partnership in the coming months.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent some six years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@bizmedia.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobHutchins3 if ranting is your thing...

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