The Real Deal New York

To experiential retail and beyond: Inside FAO Schwarz’s new digs

The opening marks a relaunch of the iconic toy store by its new owner ThreeSixty Brands
August 29, 2018 10:14AM

A rendering new FAO Schwarz (Credit: FAO Schwarz)

FAO Schwarz is set to reopen a flagship store at the Rockefeller Center in November. And it’s betting a truly unique experience will generate enough buzz to put the brand back on the map.

The company will move into a 20,000-square-foot space in an area where rents are as high as $3,200 a square foot — on one of the most expensive lots in New York City, according to the Wall Street Journal. The re-emergence of the brand pushes back against the hardships facing brick-and-mortar retail stores, and comes just months after its former owner, Toys “R” Us, closed down.

Though new owner ThreeSixty Brands didn’t disclose the construction costs or the lease terms with landlord Tishman Speyer, it will be an expensive project.

Given the costs,ThreeSixty may not actually be looking to make a profit on the flagship store, retail expert Jed Wexler told the Wall Street Journal.

“It feels like an advertising play,” he said.

At the Rockefeller Center, the new store will include the oversized piano keys made famous by Tom Hanks in the movie Big and actors portraying different toys.

ThreeSixty has plans to open second store at LaGuardia Airport and another in China, according to the Journal. [WSJ] — David Jeans