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FAO Schwarz plans first flagship store in China – with some 30 more to follow

The US toy shop FAO Schwarz has detailed plans to open its largest flagship store in China’s capital – eyeing a market that is set to over take the US as the world’s largest for toys within the next couple of years.

The South China Morning Post reports that the move from FAO Schwarz is a ‘key investment for the iconic US brand’, as it plans to open a 28,000 square foot store in the China World Trade Center in Beijing.

The store will be 40 per cent larger than its current flagship in New York City. The retailer also has plans to open a second store in Shanghai, and a further 30 smaller stores in China over the next five years.

FAO Schwarz has partnered with the Chinese toy retailer The Kidsland Group for the project.

“FAO Schwarz is focused on creating a theatrical experience, where there will be many demonstrators to interact with children and parents in store,” said Sherman Hung, chief financial officer of The Kidsland Group.

“This is part of our exploration into providing new experiences for customers.”

The retailer will find competition in the market in the form of Hamleys who entered China in 2016 after being acquired by C.Banner. Hamleys has opened four locations in China, with the world’s largest Hamleys store taking up 10,700 square metres in Beijing’s Wangfujing area.

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