FAO Schwarz inks deals to grow beyond toys
FAO Schwarz on Thursday announced licensing agreements with Britannica Home Fashions, Galerie USA, and Uncas International that expand its product assortment and its footprint.
With Britannica, the newly revived toy retailer will develop a home collection including various bedding, bath, holiday decor and more, according to a company press release. The Galerie USA tie-up will create chocolates, gift sets and bespoke candy offerings to celebrate various holidays. And Uncas International will launch a line of FAO Schwarz accessories like jewelry, hair products and key chains.
As the vestiges of Toys R Us cobble together a comeback and as toy makers Mattel and Hasbro scramble to forge a new existence in its absence, FAO Schwarz is keeping pace on a resurgence staked on more than toy sales.
"FAO Schwarz is a global kids lifestyle brand," is how David Conn, CEO of parent company ThreeSixty Brands, put it in a statement. "Because of its rich history, authenticity and nostalgia, we have always felt the FAO Schwarz brand goes beyond toys."
The company has embraced "play" as its overarching offer, and its new New York flagship already runs a candy concession with trendy candy retailer IT'SUGAR that spans more than 2,150 square feet in installations and includes FAO Schwarz-branded gummy candy and chocolates. The more than 20,000 square feet of space in its upcoming Selfridges location will include theatrical experiences, the company said Thursday.
It's also now a global retailer. In addition to its stores in New York and London, FAO Schwarz has a partnership with Chinese toy retail company Kidsland, with plans for flagship locations in Beijing and Shanghai, plus 30 smaller FAO Schwarz specialty stores and shop-in-shops in 200 department stores across China over the next five years. The brand has also inked a deal with Hudson Group, which runs several airport stores in North America, adding new ones at Chicago Midway International Airport and Indianapolis International Airport after the November opening of its first at LaGuardia in November.
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