Retail

FAO Schwarz Plans To Open Stores In Canada, China

Months after Toys R Us’ bankruptcy filing, FAO Schwarz is planning on opening stores in the U.S. and abroad before the busy holiday shopping season. It intends to open permanent stores in China and Canada along with pop-up shops in Australia, Spain and the U.K., CNBC reported.

“This brand has a tremendous amount of recognition internationally,” ThreeSixty Brands’ CEO David Conn told CNBC. (In 2016, ThreeSixty Brands’ parent company, ThreeSixty Group, acquired FAO Schwarz.)

In terms of global stores, FAO Schwarz plans to bring shops to the inside of 90 1,000-square-foot stores in Hudson Bay. The retailer is planning to open two large stores and up to 20 smaller stores in China.

It is also intending to bring pop-up shops to the U.K., Spain and Australia, and will open a new flagship at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York this November.

Party City is also getting into the toy business. The chain made an announcement in June that it will be opening about 50 Toy City pop-up stores this year. Those toy shops will roll out along with the Halloween City pop-up shops the brand operates seasonally and will be targeted toward “optimal” markets with “attractive leasing opportunities.”

Given the struggles some segments of physical retail have experienced in recent years, many retailers have sought to negotiate favorable rates to fill vacant spots. Toys R Us left a fairly large hole in the center of the market for toys — not to mention a fleet of large, empty locations behind it.

Party City believes it can fill in some of that void — despite competition from firms like Walmart, Amazon, Target, Dollar General, Barnes & Noble and Five Below. There is also talk that KB Toys is considering a strategic comeback. “Throughout the retail reporting cycle, we’ve heard from a number of large and mid-sized retail chains that they expect to step in to compete in toys in a more meaningful way post-Toys R Us,” Jefferies analyst Stephanie Wissink said in a note to clients earlier this year.

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