LEGO steps up expansion in China and India

The Danish toy firm will open dozens of new stores in China and a new office in Mumbai to reach growing middle class across Asia

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 03.09.2019 | Business

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Brick by brick, the LEGO Group is hoping to take over even more of the global toy market through rapid expansion of its own brand stores, particularly in Asia.

The toy company posted four per cent revenue growth in its latest financial report, covering the six months to June 2019, and saw consumer sales increase by five per cent year-on-year.

Revenue hit DKK3.5bn (£427m / $514.5m), a 16 per cent drop off as a result of investment in “initiatives designed to create growth in the long term”.
The Danish toy company also grew market share in its largest markets, but it’s the rapidly developing economies of China and India, where around a third of the world’s population lives, that LEGO will be tackling next.

“We’re making upfront investments to create a strong foundation from which to grow in the long term and inspire future generations,” says The LEGO Group CEO Niels B Christiansen. “This includes opening new markets, expanding in China, creating innovative retail experiences and developing exciting new products and play experiences."

The group will continue to invest in China and is on track to have more than 140 stores in 35 cities by the end of 2019. Big pushes into the country’s mainland this year include the opening of a third flagship store, this time in Beijing’s popular Wagfujing shopping district, back in February.

Meanwhile a new office in Mumbai, due to open early next year, will be a base for the toy company to tackle the rapidly developing Indian market, seen by many as the next big battleground for consumer brands.

“We see an opportunity to reach more Indian children and families who value the benefits of learning through play,” says Christiansen. “The growing middle class, importance of education and growing economy make India a logical next step in our efforts to reach many more children around the world.”

More than 70 stores will open outside of China, including a recently announced flagship store in Amsterdam. Opening in December, it will be the fifth largest LEGO flagship store in the world.

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