LEGO’s 80 new China stores still going ahead

But the rollout will be slower than expected, LEGO’s regional GM says

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 26.03.2020 | Retail

LEGO’s 80 new China stores still going ahead thumbnail
LEGO still expects to complete its roll out of 80 new stores in China this year, despite setbacks due to the coronavirus in other parts of its business, including supply chains and its string of LEGOLAND theme parks.

Earlier this month, before outbreak had sparked widespread lockdowns across Europe, CEO Niels Christiansen said the company could not yet predict the impact the contagion would have on its business in 2020, but said the company remained confident it would not “change our strategy” in China.

LEGO posted record sales and saw a three per cent rise in net profits to £970m in 2019. In China, the Danish toy maker saw double-digit growth thanks to widespread investment in new LEGO stores and marketing.

The new China locations form part of a wider programme to build its LEGO store estate around the world, with 150 openings still planned for this year. But Paul Huang, General Manager of LEGO China, says that roll out may be slower than initially expected.

“Of course, in the short term, that might have some impact in terms of the pace we open the stores,” he told the Asia Times. 

“However we are very committed to open 80 new stores in China. We don’t change the target, and we are expecting we are in a good position to deliver our performance this year."

LEGO has also renewed its standing partnership with Chinese technology giant Tencent, a strategy to bolster its digital presence in the nation and reach online shoppers on an internet that looks and acts very differently to in its domestic Danish market.

Most of China, including the major consumer goods manufacturing hubs in the south, have begun to return to relative normality in the past two weeks, while Europe the US and other nations in the west head into lockdown in an attempt to curb the spread.

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