FAO Schwarz Opens First Paris Store Inside Galeries Lafayette

Get the details on FAO Schwarz's first location in Paris, on the fifth floor of the Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann department store.
Photo credit: FAO Schwarz

FAO Schwarz, the iconic New York City toy store, has opened its first location in Paris, on the fifth floor of the Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann department store. The Parisian department store welcomes 37 million tourists a year, in addition to locals, giving FAO Schwarz a large base for its high-quality toys, demonstrations and entertainment offerings.

“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 in a statement. “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!”

The FAO Schwarz Paris store spans nearly 7,000 square feet and features 24 brands, including most major toy brands from Lego to Sophie la Girafe. Awash in the brand’s signature red, black and gold color palette, the space includes iconic FAO Schwarz design fixtures, such as its signature clock tower and grand floor piano, where shoppers can dance on the giant keys to play music.

In addition to browsing the brand’s expansive assortment, shoppers can venture into six distinct immersive brand experiences, including:

  • Barbie Styled by You: At this customization studio, Barbie fans can select dolls, fashions, accessories, doll cases and more;

  • My FAO Doll: This interactive experience lets children choose their baby carrier, outfit and accessories, and take care of their dolls. Each doll comes with a unique birth certificate;

  • Build Your Car by Majorette: Customers can choose their toy cars and customize different elements to make them unique;

  • Build-a-Bear: FAO Schwarz brings the beloved brand experience into its Paris store, so shoppers can create their own bears and adorn them with the latest clothes and accessories;

  • Jelly Cat: The popular plush brand will have a play patisserie in July, where customers can buy various “pastries” and have them packaged to take home; and  

  • Bunnies by the Bay: After customers select their favorite animal — a bunny, teddy bear, goose, owl or elephant — they can dress them, embroider a first name or motif of their choice.

A Long-Term Strategy for European Expansion

In addition to its New York and Paris stores, FAO Schwarz has ventured across the globe, with locations in Beijing, Dublin (at Arnott’s), London (at Selfridges), Milan and two stores in Seoul. The retailer’s first European store opened in Milan in 2021, through a partnership between ThreeSixty Group (owner of FAO Schwarz) and PRG Retail Group under which PRG Retail Group has exclusive rights to the FAO Schwarz license for Europe and oversees all expansion plans in the region.

“Following the arrival of FAO Schwarz in the heart of Milan in 2021, [which marked] the brand’s entry into continental Europe, we have long sought another location that could fully embody the brand’s DNA,” said Amedeo Giustini, EVP of PRG Retail Group in a statement. “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.”

Giustini also noted that the new FAO Schwarz store in Paris marks an “important 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.”


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