NEW YORK: FAO Schwarz has picked The Door as its PR AOR as it prepares to reopen its iconic toy store in a new location in Manhattan.
The Door started working on the account last month, following a proposal process. The Door founder and CEO, Charlie Dougiello, told PRWeek there was no formal RFP. The firm is working with the company in the U.S. providing media relations, general consulting, and social media services.
The legendary toy store closed its doors in New York in 2015 due to rising rent, but is permanently reopening a 20,000-square-foot flagship location at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in midtown Manhattan in November. The store’s old location was a 61,000-square-foot space on 58th and Fifth Avenue, where it was based for 30 years.
"The main campaign is the return to brick and mortar in New York City," said Dougiello. "We all have memories of going through that store, how amazing that experience was, and the wonderment you felt there."
He explained that the store’s November opening is "perfectly situated" around the holidays, when toys are in popular demand.
"You have this iconic New York City brand and iconic location at one of the most well-known addresses in the city," said Dougiello. "We’re coming up with ideas on how to activate in that area."
Dougiello and MD Danielle McGunagle are leading a team of six on the account. Budget information was not disclosed.
"Ever since the brick-and-mortar locations closed, the brand is still extremely successful and viable through shop-in-shops," said Dougiello. "The brand is still very strong, but it has wanted to bring back its own location for a while."
FAO Schwarz has a collection of classic toys and specialty items at shop-in-shops in over 5,000 retailers nationwide. In October 2016, it was acquired by ThreeSixty Group, which provides branded consumer products to large retailers.
The retailer has been in operation for more than 150 years, attracting over 3 million visitors annually and over 25,000 visitors per day during the holiday season. The New York store also made its way into pop culture, appearing in movies such as Big, in which Tom Hanks famously played "Chopsticks" on the store’s larger-than-life floor piano.
FAO Schwarz plans to launch into mainland China in 2018 via a brand collaboration with China's largest toy distributor, Kidsland. It has also struck an exclusive agreement with Hudson Group, one of the largest travel retailers in North America, to open a chain of FAO Schwarz-branded airport shops in the U.S. and Canada.