Frederick August Otto Schwarz, namesake of the world-famous retailer FAO Schwarz and his three brothers from Westphalia, Germany founded
FAO Schwarz more than 145 years ago. Today, FAO Schwarz has evolved from a simple toy store into a must-see world-famous experience.
Our three stores, catalogs and website enchant our customers and ensure memories that last a lifetime.
In 1862, the four Schwarz brothers operated their first shop in Baltimore, Maryland. From there, three of the brothers ventured forth to each open their own Schwarz "Toy Bazaar" in Philadelphia, Boston and New York. The FAO Schwarz New York location was destined to dominate the family business - though each set the standard for quality service and products from Europe's finest toy resources. In 1876, FAO Schwarz issued its first catalogue exclusively for their loyal clientele. In 1880 after ten years on 9th and Broadway, FAO Schwarz moved to larger quarters in New York's Union Square, which was then the fashionable shipping hub housing such stores as Tiffany and other fine retailers.
FAO Schwarz has always been a pioneer in the direct-to-consumer channel, issuing its first catalog in 1876. FAO.com launch in 1995 in the midst of the “dot com craze”. Ten years later, our website has moved beyond simply supporting online transactions, and has become a rich source of information about Fao Schwarz, a platform for vendor partners to provide rich media experiences, and – through our coverage of in-store events – a way to share the wonderful experience of our stores with our online visitors.
Sometimes people will misspell the Schwarz name Schwartz.