Lego set to open 120 new stores despite pandemic

Image copyright
Getty Images

Hundreds of stores have shut during the pandemic but not at Lego, which is on track to open 120 new shops this year.

The Danish toy firm told the BBC bricks-and-mortar stores had a solid future, despite the drop in footfall on high streets and social distancing restrictions in shops.

“When our stores have reopened after lockdown, there have been queues,” boss Niels Christiansen said.

“We give people the brand experience in our shops which we can’t do outside.”

It comes as the toy firm announced revenues of DKK 15.7bn (£1.8bn) for the first half of the year, up 7%, while operating profit grew by 11%.

The company currently has 612 stores across the globe, with 14 in the UK. Of the new stores it is opening, 46 were launched in the first half of the year.

Overall, 80 of them will be based in China.

The big change the company has noted since the start of the crisis is that more adults are getting involved in building Lego kits.

“We have a more than a million adult fans signed up to our website,” Mr Christiansen said.

“We saw a very positive development during the coronavirus lockdown when families began playing and building Lego sets together.”

Sales of the more complicated – and more expensive – big Lego sets grew by two and a half times in the first half of the year, he said, as families looked for big projects to make together during lockdown.

“We’ve seen momentum continue into the second half of the year even after people started going back to work and to school. So the result is not just a reflection of two months when everyone was sitting at home,” Mr Christiansen said.

Alongside its store openings, the firm said e-commerce remained vital to the business, with visits to its website doubling to 100 million in the first half of 2020.

Its said its themed sets continue to prove popular, with the top-performers including Star Wars, Disney Princess, and Harry Potter.