The FAO Schwarz world-famous clock tower

FAO Schwarz to open Italian flagship and plans European expansion in Prénatal Retail Group partnership

The New York toy store FAO Schwarz is making its move into Europe through a new partnership with Prénatal Retail Group that will bring the brand, retail store, and ecommerce concepts to Italy.

Via a partnership brokered by ThreeSixty Group, the plan will then be for the FAO Schwarz brand to expand into Spain, France, Portugal, and Benelux, celebrating ‘a shared vision of bringing consumers engaging retail experiences and exciting brands in store and online.’

The agreement inlcudes a flagship store in a historic landmark in the heart of Milan and an Italian website for the brand. The store will occupy over 6,000 square feet of space and feature the full FAO Schwarz collection of toys and experiences.

The store is set to open in the fourth quarter of this year, taking inspiration from the New York FAO Schwarz flagship at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to partner with Prénatal Retail Group to introduce the FAO Schwarz brand into Italy. Their retail know-how and knowledge of the European market and our expertise on in-store and online experiences make this a great match,” said Jan-Eric Kloth, president retail, international wholesale and corporate strategy at ThreeSixty Group.

“We look forward to offering customers in Italy the same level of engagement that we have in New York while also surprising them with some new experiences and brands unique to the Milan store.”

Signature toys and interactive experiences will take the stage at the new location, including the store’s famous clock tower and popular dance-on grand piano. The new, like the original New York location, will feature in-store product demonstrations for which FAO is known.

“Our partnership with ThreeSixty Group further cements Prénatal Retail Group’s leadership and agility in the European retail toy market,” said Amedo Giustini, CEO Prénatal Retail Group.

“It also highlights our skill in developing valuable retail networks and reinforces our relationship with suppliers. We look forward to welcoming FAO SCHWARZ into our brand portfolio and to sharing with customers exclusive experiences and a brand with over 160 years of history.”

FAO Schwarz has long-been a destination of discovery, beginning with FAO Schwarz-branded toys and extending to products from well-loved toy brands from around the world.

In 2020, FAO Schwarz brought the magic of the in-store experience online, providing consumers with access to the full array of toys, unique video demonstrations, remote shopping, and virtual workshops.

ThreeSixty Group and Prénatal Retail Group are jointly working with third-party brands to introduce more experiences for customers than before and will reveal additional details about the partnership in the coming months.

About Robert Hutchins

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

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