NEW YORK, Feb. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Subsequent to its successful relaunch in 2017, the iconic toy retailer, FAO Schwarz continues its international growth strategy, propelling the brand into new global markets, channels and categories. The announcement follows an exceptional holiday season, where FAO Schwarz introduced an extensive collection of classic toys and specialty items at shop-in-shops in over 5,000 retailers nationwide. It also follows the reveal of the planned opening of a new 20,000 square-foot flagship location in the heart of New York's historic Rockefeller Plaza in time for the holiday 2018 season.
FAO Schwarz will launch into the mainland China market in 2018 via a brand collaboration with China's largest toy distributor, Kidsland. The long-term, multi-channel partnership will see FAO Schwarz enter the market and establish its position as the high-end toy retailer in mainland China with a flagship location in Beijing and Shanghai. Kidsland will also open 30 smaller FAO Schwarz specialty stores and shop-in-shops in 200 department stores across the country over the next five years.
"As the leading toy retailer, Kidsland is a powerful partner to bring the FAO Schwarz brand to life in China," said Jan-Eric Kloth, COO at ThreeSixty Group, Ltd (Hong Kong). "With a strong vision and rollout strategy, the launch will be an impactful, important milestone for the brand's global expansion plans."
"FAO Schwarz is an iconic U.S. toy retailer of quality and innovation, and we are excited to join forces to introduce this legendary brand to the China market," said Mr. Lee Ching Yiu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Kidsland International. "With customers looking for authentic brands and memorable encounters, we believe the brand will become a game changer in China's toy industry."
In addition, FAO Schwarz has entered into an exclusive agreement with Hudson Group, one of the largest travel retailers in North America, to open a chain of FAO Schwarz branded airport shops in the U.S. and Canada. The stores will feature signature FAO Schwarz branded toys and games as well as products from other leading brands. The first store will debut later this year, including stand-alone candy stores under the famous FAO Schweetz brand.
"Extending the enthusiasm surrounding our retail rollout and upcoming Rockefeller Center flagship to airports across the country is an exciting and natural progression for the brand," said David Niggli, Chief Merchandising Officer for FAO Schwarz. "FAO Schwarz's products and experiential retail format lend themselves well to the travel retail experience, and we are thrilled to be partnering with Hudson Group, a leader in the space."
Additionally, FAO Schwarz has signed a license agreement with Wild and Wolf, an industry leading designer and manufacturer of wood toys, puzzles and games, expanding on the brand's elevated breadth of products. Wild and Wolf will launch their first collection for holiday 2018 at department and specialty stores.
For additional information, please visit faoschwarz.com.
About FAO Schwarz
In October 2016, FAO Schwarz was acquired by ThreeSixty Group Inc., a leading provider of branded consumer products to the nation's largest retailers. FAO Schwarz has been a brand synonymous with quality and innovation, offering an unparalleled selection of extraordinary toys that have enchanted generations and cultivated a loyal clientele. With over one hundred fifty years of operation, FAO Schwarz evolved into a must-see destination, attracting over three million visitors annually and over twenty five thousand visitors per day during the holiday season. Drawing inspiration from the original classic products and legendary interactive in-store experience, FAO Schwarz will continue to incite endless possibilities at locations nationwide. For additional information visit faoschwarz.com and follow FAO Schwarz on Instagram and Facebook @FAO.
About Kidsland International
Kidsland International Holdings Limited ("Kidsland", Hong Kong Stock Exchange Code: 2122) has over 16 years of sound experience in branding and operation of children's market with its core management team. Kidsland's sales network covers over 100 large and medium cities in China with more than 4,000 sales points. Kidsland distributes over 27 international toy and infant brands in China.
SOURCE FAO Schwarz