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FAO Schwarz to open first European flagship store within Selfridges, London

Hot on the heels of FAO Schwarz’s successful return to retail in New York City in 2018, the brand is announcing the opening of its first ever European flagship store located within Selfridges’ famous Oxford Street location in London.

FILE -In this Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 file photo, shoppers pause outside of the Fifth Avenue FAO Schwarz in New York. A new FAO opens Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center, about 10 blocks from its former home near Central Park. For more than 150 years, FAO Schwarz was known for its classy and sometimes extravagantly expensive toys. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

The FAO Schwarz store at Selfridges’ will occupy over 20,000 square feet of space and feature the brand’s full collection of toys and experiences. Set to open on November 1, 2019, the new store will be inspired by the New York FAO Schwarz flagship at 30 Rockefeller Plaza with its unique brand of theatre and experiential retail.

Jan-Eric Kloth, COO at ThreeSixty Group, which acquired FAO Schwartz in autumn 2016, said: “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Selfridges to bring FAO Schwarz to London. 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 further cement FAO Schwarz as a place of imagination and discovery while staying true to key elements of the brand, including 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.

Eleanor Robinson, Director of Accessories, Kidswear & Toys at Selfridges, said: “FAO Schwarz is the world’s most inventive and inspiring toy store and the perfect partner for Selfridges’ reimagined Toy Department. 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 customize their car’s body style, color, wheels, and designs.