As it reported formidable revenue for last year, LEGO said it will debut 150 new locations in 2020 — mainly in China. The toy company now has 570 locations globally, with the inclusion of 100 in the United States, The Wall Street Journal reported.
LEGO has been bringing new stores to fruition during a period when many other merchants have cut back. It owns flagship locations in places such as London, New York and Beijing, and it has franchisees for many of its smaller shops. The toy company, like Hasbro Inc. and Mattel Inc., has been contending with apps and video games for the attention of children.
Chief Executive Niels Christiansen said it’s premature to discern how the coronavirus would impact demand. While most of the retailer’s stores in China are open, some remain closed. The firm has reopened its Zhejiang Province factory, which is reportedly its only Chinese one that manufacturers items for most of Asia.
The company’s revenue for last year increased nearly 6 percent to 38.54 billion kroner. Western Europe and Americas sales rose by a percentage in the single digits. The company has attempted to grow distribution in the U.S. to fill a space left by the Toy R Us bankruptcy. The company has brought on thousands of merchants to its distribution network in the United States, with the inclusion of arts-and-crafts retailers, discount stores and department stores.
In September, it was reported that LEGO planned to bring 35 more stores to China by the conclusion of last year. The move would take the total to more than 140 in that country and nearly 600 globally per reports at the time.
Christiansen, highlighting the importance of “try-vertising,” in which children try new products in shops, said per a past report, “You cannot say the physical experience is not necessary, just because more is bought online.”
LEGO, for its part, came back to sales growth in 2018 after a decade of double-digit increases that abruptly stopped in 2017.