M&S is launching a bespoke offer from toy giant FAO Schwarz in 20 stores across the UK and on M&S.com in the lead up to the festive season.
The bespoke offer of around 50 bestselling products has been selected for M&S customers including toy racing cars, music mats, craft kits and plush toys.
The M&S store openings are the first time that 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 trialled next to the M&S gift shops and located within M&S Kids product areas. In addition, 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.
The 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&S.com with over 30 brands already live.
Toys have already proved a popular new product option for M&S customers – for example 64% of orders for an Early Learning Centre product (which landed on the site last year) also include at least one product from another M&S department.
“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,” commented Neil Harrison, director of Brands at M&S. “At Christmas we want M&S to be the place customers turn to for great value stylish clothing, quality food and importantly special and 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&S.com and our 20 UK locations customers can shop an exciting range of FAO’s best toys and we can’t wait to hear their feedback.”
Mark Handley, ceo at Redlands Distribution – the 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 their 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.”