FAO Schwarz launches on M& and in selected stores

Published on: 16th November 2021

Initially in 20 stores, the FAO Schwarz bespoke offering has been launched by ‘Brands at M&S’ in time for the festive season.

FAO Schwarz will appear in 20 M&S stores* across the UK and on M& A bespoke offer of around 50 bestselling products has been selected; a mix of FAO Schwarz, Discovery, Discovery #Mindblown and Sharper Image products. The launch comes during the busiest festive shopping month with around half of M&S customers expecting to finish their gift purchasing by the end of November.

The M&S store openings are the first time the heritage toy brand has been available on local UK high streets, with locations from Cardiff to Cheltenham included in the store roll out. The FAO shops will be trialed next to the M&S gift shops and located within M&S Kids product. As the retailer continues to focus on offering families a great shopping experience, an experiential approach is being tested with magicians set to perform at two of the biggest stores (Stratford and Bluewater) every weekend in December to surprise and delight customers.

This latest brand addition is part of the ‘Brands at M&S’ strategy under the retailer’s MS2 division. It aims to curate a platform of brands that are relevant for the M&S customer and offer them more reasons to shop more frequently on M&, with over 30 brands already live. The strategy includes offering a wider selection within the retailer’s core categories, also introducing complementary categories where the retailer doesn’t have a full offer – such as kids’ toys. M&S believes that having this breadth of range is crucial with for growth, with over 30% of its customers planning to purchase toys this Christmas.

Toys have already proved a popular new product option, with 64% of orders for an Early Learning Centre product (which landed on the site last year) also including at least one product from another M&S department.

Neil Harrison, director of Brands at M&S, said: “Our brands strategy is all about giving customers even more reasons to shop with M&S – and that includes being more relevant, more often throughout the important festive season. At Christmas, we want M&S to be the place customers turn to for great value stylish clothing, quality food and, importantly, special & different gifting, and a leading toy brand such as FAO Schwarz supports that mission, bringing a little extra magic to the M&S offer. Through M& and our 20 UK locations, customers can shop an exciting range of FAO’s best toys. We can’t wait to hear their feedback.”

Mark Handley, CEO, Redlands Distribution, exclusive distributor of FAO Schwarz in the UK, added: “We are delighted to be partnering with M&S this festive season and excited to see the iconic FAO Schwarz toy brand come to life in stores. With so many wonderful, nostalgic, and one-of-a-kind toys to inspire M&S customers, it is certainly going to be a magical time to shop for special gifts for children this Christmas.”

The full range of FAO Schwarz is available for customers across the UK on M& with click & collect available at over 700 locations, including food only stores.

*The locations for the FAO Schwarz departments are: Glasgow Argyle Street, Banbury Gateway, Bluewater, Cardiff, Cheshire Oaks, Cheltenham, Leeds, Liverpool, Longbridge, Merryhill, Metro, Newcastle, Plymouth, Pudsey, Southampton West Quays, Stratford, Thurrock, Watford, White City and Wolstanton Stoke.


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