FAO Schwartz confirms return to New York as toy shop plans global brand revival

The iconic toy store FAO Schwartz is being revived after its departure from the scene three years ago, returning to New York’s Manhattan this year.

The toy store, known for its interactive in-store entertainment, like the giant piano made iconic by the film, Big, is opening up a new shop in Rockefeller Plaza, in time for the Christmas shopping season.

ToyNews first reported on the store’s plans to return to Manhattan in June this year. FAO Schwartz was originally known for its store on Fifth Avenue. The new store is to be located around five blocks south of the old one.

The new store is being developed by Threesixty Group, a product developer and distributor, which purchased the entire brand from Toys R Us in 2016. Threesixty did not disclose the terms of the store’s lease of the 20,000 square foot of estate.

The store will reportedly hold on to FAO Schwartz’s reputation for in-store theatre with product demonstrations with employees, magicians and character appearances.

The hope is to capture sales from the demise of its former parent company, Toys R Us, which shut up shop in the US earlier this year when it liquidated all of its stores.

The Rockefeller Plaza location is planned to be the first in a string of stores to revive the brand as it looks to open a smaller location in LaGuardia Airport this year, and in China in the near future.

Rumblings of a brand revival first emerged when FAO Schwartz took a large presence at the US trade show Licensing Expo both in 2017 and 2018.

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