FAO Schwarz to open 10 pop-up shops for the holidays
Storied toy retailer FAO Schwarz, which struggled for years to compete with larger toy giants before being bought last year by Toys R Us, is making a comeback of sorts this holiday season.
The brand will open about 10 pop-up toy shops across the country, including one at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. The temporary shops, which are scheduled to close in mid-January, will be in addition to the brand’s permanent location in New York City, its sole remaining retail store.
In an interview with The Times, Toys R Us Chief Executive Jerry Storch said the company was excited to bring FAO Schwarz’s “high-quality heirloom toys” to new markets.
“We know that FAO Schwarz is one of the most well-known names in retail -- not just in toy retail -- so we believe there is an audience outside of Manhattan,” he said.
Storch added that more stores could be added in the coming months and didn’t rule out a location in Los Angeles. Depending on performance and site availability, some stores could remain open permanently, he said.
The pop-up stores are to each be about 2,500 square feet and offer a selection of classic FAO Schwarz products, including wooden and tin toys and the Big Piano dance mat, a smaller replica of the in-store piano made famous in the Tom Hanks film “Big.”
Last week, Toys R Us announced it would operate about 600 Toy R Us pop-up stores nationwide, an aggressive expansion of the temporary-store initiative it began for the holidays last year. Pop-up shops have grown in popularity in recent years, thanks to a glut of vacant commercial real estate space.
-- Andrea Chang