FAO Schwarz Opens in Paris

FAO SchwarzNew York City’s most iconic toy store, today announced the opening of its first store in Paris, bringing the magical world of FAO Schwarz to the 5th floor of Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann. Parisians and tourists from all over can now celebrate the joy of play with high-quality toys, unique experiences, spectacular demonstrations and unforgettable entertainment.

For its arrival in France, FAO Schwarz chose the world-famous French department store leader: Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann. The store, which welcomes 37 million tourists a year, is once again supporting the capital’s cultural development by welcoming this famous brand to its 5th floor.

“Our mission at FAO Schwarz is to inspire awe and wonder around every corner of the store, and we’re excited to bring that same experience to Paris,” said David Niggli, Chief Merchandising Officer at FAO Schwarz. “Visitors can expect to find world-class specialty toys and interactive experiences along with our amazing team of demonstrators and Toy Soldiers to bring them to life in the most theatrical, magic way!”

FAO Schwarz in Paris

In 2021, California-based ThreeSixty, owner of the FAO Schwarz brand since 2016, agreed with PRG Retail Group to hand over exclusive management of the license for Europe. This partnership, which aims to introduce the FAO Schwarz brand in Europe, celebrates the joint project of offering consumers distinctive sales experiences and providing quality toy and gift brands.

PRG Retail Group is the first Kids & Family Hub in the childhood and toy sector with 528 stores in 5 countries (ItalySpainPortugalGreece and France). It includes the Prénatal, Bimbostore, and Toys Center brands and, in the Iberian Peninsula, Toys “R “Us. Now a minority shareholder, PRG Retail Group has supported the King Jouet group since 2010, helping it to expand and consolidate in the French, Swiss and Belux markets.

PRG Retail Group’s distribution know-how and knowledge of the European market will be joined by ThreeSixty group’s expertise of in-store and online experiences. In 2021, ThreeSixty and PRG retail Group made this shared vision a reality with the opening of a store in Milan, and now, the famous brand with the Grand Piano has also opened in Paris.

“Following the arrival of FAO Schwarz in the heart of Milan in 2021, marking the brand’s entry into continental Europe, we have long sought another location that could fully embody the brand’s DNA,” said Amedeo Giustini, Executive Vice President of PRG Retail Group.

Giustini added, “Paris and Galeries Lafayette Haussmann perfectly represent the answer to the objective we have pursued together with ThreeSixty Group. A prime destination for luxury icons, it is the perfect setting to introduce the uniqueness of FAO Schwarz to the French and millions of tourists. A name that, together with the high quality and uniqueness of its products, offers its audience something that goes beyond the material and carries with it the experiential value of discovery and wonder. This is an important new milestone that will help strengthen our presence and strategy in the French territory, a large market that we have always presided over thanks to our participation in King Jouet, a leading toy specialist brand.”

More than just a toy store

To enter an FAO Schwarz store is to experience the magic of an incredible place where imagination, curiosity and wonder combine for children young and old. These are the emblematic Toy Soldiers who welcome you to FAO Schwarz on the 5th floor of Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann, for a unique journey punctuated by discovery, a novel journey thanks to brand experiences and a selection of exclusive toys.

Here, as in the eight other stores worldwide, you’ll find the entire FAO Schwarz universe: the brand’s historic red and black colors and gold lettering, and don’t forget the iconic Grand Piano, where you can dance to the music of giant keys. Guests will also find the emblematic Clock Tower and its six mini-clocks, each chiming at the same time as the other stores around the world: LondonDublinMilanBeijingSeoulNew York.

A visit to this new store will be an opportunity to appreciate the famous FAO Schwarz product line, including: FAO Schwarz plush of all sizes, FAO-Abulous Fashion Role play, educational and creative toys. It’s also an opportunity to discover brands such as Great Pretenders, Bunnies by the Bay, Discovery and Sharper Image, finally available in France. And let’s not forget the always incredible magic trick demonstrations by Marvin’s Magic.

6 unique experiences at FAO Schwarz Paris Haussmann

What undeniably makes FAO Schwarz so legendary are the unique experiences offered along the way, by some of the world’s leading brands. The new FAO Schwarz in Paris is no exception, with six new experiences in the store: Barbie Styled by You, My FAO Doll, Build Your Car by Majorette, Build a Bear, Bunnies by the Bay and the Jelly Cat Patisserie (in July).

Barbie Styled by You : A new retail experience by Mattel and FAO Schwarz, now available at Galeries Lafayette, a paradise for Barbie doll lovers just landed in town.
A special customization designed to showcase the full Barbie experience, featuring two large Barbie styling stations supporting a step-by-step design process. Barbie fans get to personally select a doll as well as the fashions, accessories, a doll case and more.

My FAO Doll : An exceptional interactive experience that lets children take care of their own doll, choosing their baby carrier, outfit and accessories. Each doll comes with a unique birth certificate, and becomes a true member of the family. In Paris, as in Milan, the experience is renewed to offer children, in addition to a new toy, the desire to take care of their doll.

Build your Car by Majorette : Personalize your own car! Through various stages, you can choose your car and its customized elements to make it unique and special.

Build a Bear : Here, you don’t just choose your teddy bear off the shelf, you can create it by actively participating in every stage of its production. From selecting the different types of bear to stuffing and choosing your favorite clothes. Everything you need to make your plush bear unique, and enjoy making it yourself! You can even enter your bear’s name in the register, to obtain an official birth certificate for your new friend.

Jelly Cat : This plush brand is known for its playful designs from a cute avocado to a pizza plush. In addition to their whimsical characters and classics, they will open a plush patisserie in July where customers can buy various pastries and have them boxed like real pastries to take home and love.

Bunnies by the Bay : Stop to remember! Choose your favorite bunny (or teddy bear, goose, owl or elephant) from all the adorable models and personalize it and all its accessories as you wish. You can embroider a first name, a message of love or a motif of your choice, thanks to the splendid sewing machine and the skilful hands of an ever-present member of staff.

Additionally, FAO Schwarz Paris will offer all the major toy brands, including Corolle, Doudou et compagnie, Histoire d’Ours, Lego, Moulin Roty, Papo, Sentosphère, Sophie la Girafe, Steiff, Sylvanian Families and Vilac. In all, 24 major toy brands are represented.

FAO SCHWARZ in Paris: By the Numbers
5th floor of Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann
24 brands
6 experiences
Nearly 7,000 square feet
28 employees
Open 7 days a week, Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 8:30 pm, and Sundays from 11am to 8pm

8 stores: New YorkLondon (at Selfridges), Dublin (at Arnott’s), MilanBeijingSeoul (2 stores), and Paris (at Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann).

In 2021, the Milan store opened, the first in continental Europe thanks to the exclusive partnership between PRG Retail Group and ThreeSixty Group. On May 6, 2024, the legend moves to Paris, with the arrival of the FAO Schwarz store on the 5th floor of Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann

FAO Schwarz is one of the oldest, most historic, and iconic toy brands in the world. FAO Schwarz opened its first doors in 1862 revealing a marvelous, bountiful emporium full of extraordinary, one-of-a-kind toys from all over the world. Founded by Frederick August Otto Schwarz, FAO Schwarz has always been synonymous with quality and innovation, offering cherished memories for generations of adults and children alike. At its core, FAO Schwarz has always been known for the “theater of it all,” where toys meet deep nostalgia. FAO has been delivering wonder to families for over 160 years, celebrating awe and discovery for all children and the child inside all of us.

PRG Retail Group, established in Italy in 2015, is the first Kids & Family Hub in the childhood and toy sector with 528 stores in 5 countries (ItalySpainPortugalGreeceFrance) and a workforce of 4,000 people. It includes the Prénatal, Bimbostore, and Toys Center brands and holds exclusive licenses for FAO Schwarz and, on the Iberian Peninsula, Toys “R “Us, as well as a minority shareholder in the King Jouet Group.

For more information www.prenatalretailgroup.com