FAO Schwarz is returning to Manhattan. The iconic toy store, which had closed its doors in 2015, is coming to life again with a new, 20,000-square-foot Rockefeller Center location set to open in November 2018, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The store is being developed by ThreeSixty Group Inc., a California-based firm, which acquired the brand from Toys ‘R’ Us in October 2016 for an undisclosed amount and has since launched a campaign to revive FAO Schwarz globally. “The New York store will be key to that strategy,” said officials with ThreeSixty Brands, the ThreeSixty Group affiliate in charge of operating FAO, in a statement to WSJ.
The retailer aims to make the location as much about the shopper experience as the actual purchases by featuring product demonstrators, magicians and employees dressed as characters.
“We’re looking for people who can deliver that sense of theater,” said David Conn, CEO of ThreeSixty Brands to WSJ. The company will hold auditions rather than just the standard interviews for retail staff starting on Sept. 8, he added.
ThreeSixty Brands is also launching a smaller store at LaGuardia Airport this fall and one in China in 2019.