Back in November last year we brought you news of the planned opening at Beijing’s China World Center Mall of FAO Schwarz, the iconic New York toy store. Now, only a few months late, the store is finally due to open… and it promises to be a toy shopping heaven.
“FAO Schwarz is focused on creating a theatrical experience, where there will be many demonstrators to interact with children and parents in store,” said Sherman Hung, chief financial officer of The Kidsland Group, China’s largest toy retailer and the Chinese partner to FAO Schwarz. “This is part of our exploration into providing new experiences for customers.”
This approach to shopping as entertainment is how “bricks and mortar” retailers hope to compete with the lower prices and wider choice available online. With 2,600 sqm of retail space, the Beijing branch is 40 percent larger than its New York parent, and looks to be a dazzling experience for kids.
Among the treats on offer is Beijing’s very own version of the famous “floor piano”, as seen in the Tom Hanks movie Big. There are also areas dedicated to teddy bears, Lego, robots, and racing cars.
Some may wonder what a Swarovski Crystal display is doing in a kids’ toy store… or for that matter who’s going to buy the USD 25,000 crystal-studded child-sized Mercedes Benz. But it’s hard to deny that if we were kids, we would be nagging our parents to take us to FAO Schwarz.
The official opening of the store takes place on Saturday May 25, and the company has said there will be prizes and performances all day. Parents may just have found a new way to keep their kids entertained on those high AQI Saturdays. Scan the QR code below for more information: