China’s largest toy retailer and distributor, Kidsland, has introduced FAO Schwarz with its first Asian flagship store.
Staff wearing soldiers’ uniforms from Grimm’s Fairy Tales are positioned at the entrance to greet and escort customers into the 30,000 square feet store, interacting with customers throughout the shopping experience. The store also features demonstrators who invite customers to play with the toys. The Toy Soldiers and demonstrators have been trained overseas and will make up 20% of the staff.
Founded in 1862, FAO Schwarz is one of the oldest toy stores in the world. The brand returned to New York last November with a new 20,000 square feet flagship at Rockefeller Centre in Manhattan.
Kidsland has a comprehensive online and offline integrated sales network within China. In December it counted 257 independent stores in 44 cities within the region, along with 519 self-operated consignment counters and 931 distributors covering more than 3000 additional points of sale. Kidsland also represents multiple brands in operating 18 online stores in China.
“The introduction of FAO into China reflects our confidence in the potential of the Chinese economy and market development,” said chairman and CEO of Kidsland Lee Ching Yiu. “We believe there is strong demand for quality toys among families and young people, so this is an important advantage for Kidsland to provide quality experiential retailing. In this way, we hope to serve as a bridge, enabling Chinese consumers to experience the latest and best toys in the world.”
He continued: “FAO Schwarz plans to open a large flagship and several medium-sized stores in China in the next two years. We will also establish a Kidsland experiential retail flagship store, and will open a mid-sized Kidsland retail store within the next two years to bring an enriched retail experience to a wider spectrum of the public.”