Lego is on track to open more than 70 stores globally in 2019, excluding China where the company is on track to open more than 80 stores by the end of the year. In total, Lego anticipates operating more than 140 stores in 35 Chinese cities. Lego also plans to open an office in Mumbai in 2020, which will serve as a headquarters for expansion in India.
The store openings, which will bring the retailer to nearly 600 locations worldwide, include a new flagship store in Amsterdam.
The expansion follows a strong financial start during first half of 2019, where revenue grew to 14.8 billion Danish kroner ($2.19 billion USD) compared with the first half of 2018. Consumer sales were up 5%, as was market share in the U.S., the company’s largest market. Operating profit fell 16% to 3.5 billion Danish kroner ($517 million USD), but the drop was attributed to investments designed to generate growth over the long term.
“We are satisfied with our performance given the transformative shifts which continue to reshape the global toy industry,” said LEGO Group CEO Niels B. Christiansen in a statement. “Against this backdrop, we continue to grow consumer sales and market share in our largest markets.”
Lego will also upgrade its e-Commerce capabilities to improve the user experience for both shoppers and retailers. The company is seeking to stay ahead of trends such as digitalization to keep up with the shifts that are affecting the retail industry.
The brand isn’t the only retailer looking to modernize the toy shopping experience: Tru Kids Brands and b8ta plan to resurrect Toys ‘R’ Us in time for the holidays. The companies will draw upon b8ta’s experiential expertise to drive immersion and highlight new events and activities every day in a bid to establish a brand that can avoid the fate that befell the old version of Toys ‘R’ Us.
“As the retail landscape changes, so do consumer shopping habits,” said Phillip Raub, Co-Founder and President of b8ta and Interim Co-CEO of the Toys ’R’ Us joint venture in a statement. “But what hasn’t changed is that kids want to touch everything and simply play. In partnership with Richard [Barry, CEO of Tru Kids Brands and Interim Co-CEO of the Toys ‘R’ Us joint venture] and his team, we are excited to bring back Toys ’R’ Us in an immersive way, focused on creating a fun and engaging experience for kids — and adults, too.”