After emigrating from Germany to the United States, three Schwarz brothers opened a retail toy business, “Toy Bazaar,” in Baltimore, Maryland in 1862. Business boomed!
The youngest of the brothers, Frederick August Otto Schwarz, moved to New York City and opened “Schwarz Brothers — Importers,” filling the location with beautifully crafted European playthings designed to surprise and delight children. The business grew rapidly, prompting Schwarz to move the store to larger locations throughout the city. In 1900, he renamed the store “FAO Schwarz,” and the rest is history.
In 2012, the country’s oldest toy store launched a yearlong celebration of its rich history. The most successful business anniversary “sell”-abrations span the entire year, and the FAO Schwarz celebration sounds like a winner. Business anniversary elements include:
- Induction of Frederick August Otto Schwarz into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame during the 12th Annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards, hosted by the Toy Industry Association (www.toyassociation.org) in New York City.
- The return of the famous face of the FAO Schwarz Clock Tower. Look for the friendly face positioned above the escalator that leads guests down to the Concourse Level and listen for the classic theme song, “Welcome to Our World of Toys,” that greeted visitors from 1986 through 2004.
- Fourteen-foot-tall toy soldiers standing at attention along the main aisle in the Grand Hall. The illuminated soldiers bear banners, announcing the store’s sesquicentennial.
- Enhanced website and social media presence. The website www.FAO.com features a 150th business anniversary page with information about the company’s history, anniversary events and activities throughout 2012 and a shop of 150th business anniversary commemorative toys. The company’s Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/FAO) features photos, trivia and facts about 150 years of FAO Schwarz.
- 150th business anniversary commemorative products. Limited-edition toys from major manufacturers, including a toy soldier Barbie(R) doll, will pay tribute to FAO Schwarz. Additionally, FAO Schwarz will release an exclusive plush bear in honor of the company’s milestone business anniversary.
Happy 150th business anniversary to FAO Schwarz! May your 2012 business anniversary celebration be as extraordinary as your one-of-a-kind toys have been for generations of children.
Blogger Bio: Pauline Bartel, M.A., is President and Chief Creative Officer of
Bartel Communications, Inc., an award-winning corporate communications firm,
specializing in marketing, public relations and business anniversary consulting
services. The firm created “The Bartel Years™” and “The Bartel Years 200™,” rosters of business anniversary symbols to inspire two centuries of business anniversary
“sell”-abrations. Download free copies of “The Bartel Years™” and the special
report “The Top 10 Business Anniversary Ideas for SELL-abrating Your Business
Anniversary” at this link: http://www.paulinebartel.com/services/corporate-services/business-anniversary-consulting