LEGO is gaining fans in China and reports increased consumer sales

A boy selects a boxed Lego A/S toy at an E-Mart Co. store, a subsidiary of Shinsegae Co., in Incheon, South Korea, on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013. Bloomberg | Getty Images

LEGO, the Danish toymaker has benefited from pandemic-related lockdowns in 2020 and reports a 21 percent increase in consumer sales in 2020, mainly due to a surge in growth in China, a broader product range, and e-commerce investments paying off.

According to LEGO’s reported revenue for 2020, it topped DKK 43.7 billion which is an increase of 13 percent compared with 2019.

To CNBC, CEO Niels Christiansen says that it is a result of a tremendous effort by the entire organization, especially with all the things LEGO had to cope with throughout the year. Last year Lego was forced to close manufacturing sites in China and Mexico due to the pandemic and temporarily close some retail locations. The company’s distribution cost also rose as shipping became more expensive.

The pandemic however also brought positive things to LEGO and more consumers bought LEGO sets to pass the time in lockdown. In addition, the number of visits to doubled last year compared to the year before, as many of LEGO’s physical stores were closed. Lastly, the toymaker made a push into the Chinese market with the opening of 91 physical locations and that has sparked an interest for LEGO amongst the Chinese consumers. Because they did not grow up with LEGO like most Europeans did, the fact that kids can come in and get their hands on the bricks and see the sets that can be built has been a boon to sales. “Kids get to see what Lego is and play with it,” Niels Christiansen said. “It’s a brand built on the physical.”

In 2020, Lego opened 134 retail locations, 91 of which were in China. LEGO currently has 678 Lego branded stores globally and has plans to add another 120, including 80 in China. The aim is to have around 300 Lego stores in China by the end of 2021.

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