First Look: Lego’s New Interactive Retail Concept Store

Lisa Johnston
Editor-in-Chief, CGT
Lisa Johnston CGT

The Lego Group opened the doors to a new store format that bridges digital and physical on Friday — one it intends to bring to more than 100 stores across the globe this year.

Located on Fifth Avenue in New York, the 7,175-square-foot flagship seek to fulfill consumers’ increasing desire for personalized and interactive retail experiences.

“For a number of years, we’ve seen the trend towards people visiting stores for high-quality, entertaining brand experiences,” said Colette Burke, chief commercial officer. “Over the past year, our fans have missed personal and tactile interactions with the brand, and we can’t wait to welcome them back.”

The two-story store was developed over the course of two years, aided by consumer feedback for more opportunities to play with the bricks and participate in activities. As a result, it includes such features as an interactive Brick Lab; a Storytelling Table that displays early product designs and prototypes; and a Personalization Studio where consumers can reimagine themselves in Lego form.

“While our existing store format has been very successful, we are evolving it to strengthen brand love and create memorable experiences people will talk about long after they leave,” Burke noted. “We want people to walk into our stores and feel immersed in a world of Lego bricks.”  

Lego operates more than 730 stores in 50 countries and plans to open 120 new ones this year. This new format is modular and scalable in order to translate to both Lego stores of all sizes and third-party retail partner stores. It will be introduced to more 100 Lego stores this year, as well as select partner retailers.

Lego will also continue to invest in building its e-commerce capabilities as the number of visitors to its online store doubled last year, to 250 million. Burke said the company continues to see significant growth across its e-commerce channels this year.

Separately, The Lego Group also unveiled a brick made from recycled plastic, though it warned it would be some time before it was found in a set at retail. The brick, which uses PET plastic from discarded bottles, is the result of a three-year test to develop a material meeting the company’s quality, safety and use requirements.

“The biggest challenge on our sustainability journey is rethinking and innovating new materials that are as durable, strong and high quality as our existing bricks – and fit with LEGO elements made over the past 60 years,” said Tim Brooks, VP of environmental responsibility at the LEGO Group.

A one-liter plastic PET bottle provides enough raw material for about 10 2-by-4 Lego bricks.
A one-liter plastic PET bottle provides enough raw material for about 10 2-by-4 Lego bricks.

The brick has been developed using a bespoke compounding technology to combine the recycled PET with strengthening additives. Lego will continue testing it for about a year and then assess whether it should move into the pilot production phase.

The Lego Group will invest up to $400 million over three years to accelerate its sustainability ambitions, and Brooks noted the company is committed to helping build a sustainable future for children.  

“We want our products to have a positive impact on the planet, not just with the play they inspire, but also with the materials we use,” he added. “We still have a long way to go on our journey but are pleased with the progress we’re making.”

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