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Are there plans for more LEGO stores?

A Member of LEGO Company's staff drops in here from time to time to answer questions from LEGO fans like you.

Re: Are there plans for more LEGO stores?

Postby copyright » Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:24 pm

Few thoughts I can input here:

Before last year, LEGO Brand retail was still an experiment. It takes a lot to build a nationwide infrastructure to run these stores. When I say infastructure, I mean everything from store management training, to order fulfillment, and the like. Beyond that, they can't infringe too much on their key accounts' territories (Target/WalMart/TRU) or otherwise risk damaging their relationships with their most important customers, and seeing overall sales drop dramatically just to gain a bit at a few mall stores.

Also, stores are WAY more expensive to operate than a direct selling warehouse and direct-to-door website. With that comes the risk of loss. Sharper Image stores recently closed all their mall shops and went online only, as did KB/eToys, and (my mom's favorite) GardenBontanica. So expansion for LEGO must be very carefully planned.

As for getting jobs with them: they are weary to hire from within the fanbase. Someone in our local LUG got a job at our store, worked only once a week, and spent 5x his paycheck on LEGO with his LEGO discount card. Obviously he wasn't in it for the job. While they want people who are knowledgeable and familiar with the product, they don't want us... we cost them too much. XD

So... there are my thoughts.

And nick, you're bad.
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Re: Are there plans for more LEGO stores?

Postby Drock » Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:53 am

copyright wrote:Few thoughts I can input here:
As for getting jobs with them: they are weary to hire from within the fanbase. Someone in our local LUG got a job at our store, worked only once a week, and spent 5x his paycheck on LEGO with his LEGO discount card. Obviously he wasn't in it for the job. While they want people who are knowledgeable and familiar with the product, they don't want us... we cost them too much. XD

Good job! Way to stomp on all my hopes and dreams! :lol:

Anyway, I I'm looking forward to when the new store opens. Last weekend I strolled by to find the location of the new store here.

Then I can get TRU selection without TRU prices on LEGO.
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Re: Are there plans for more LEGO stores?

Postby Gumby » Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:16 pm

copyright wrote:As for getting jobs with them: they are weary to hire from within the fanbase. Someone in our local LUG got a job at our store, worked only once a week, and spent 5x his paycheck on LEGO with his LEGO discount card. Obviously he wasn't in it for the job. While they want people who are knowledgeable and familiar with the product, they don't want us... we cost them too much. XD

Hehe they should allow LEGO fans to volunteer (i.e. work for free) at stores in exchange for the employee discount. :)
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Re: Are there plans for more LEGO stores?

Postby infallible » Thu Jun 25, 2009 2:07 pm

Ha! I think it's probably illegal to hire a regular worker without paying him, but they do let us volunteer at the big master builder build events. For those that work, you get a gift certificate and one-time discount at the store.
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Re: Are there plans for more LEGO stores?

Postby Obi-Wan Skywalker » Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:10 pm

The lehigh valley mall is practically saying

GIVE ME A LEGO STORE!!

Yes I live near the lehigh valley

P.s. Its in PA
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Re: Are there plans for more LEGO stores?

Postby Athos » Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:04 pm

Salt Lake City or Las Vegas would be nice spots for a store.

Steve
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Re: Are there plans for more LEGO stores?

Postby LEGOscum » Fri Jul 10, 2009 8:11 am

Joedward wrote:Four? I thought it was three now. :S


It is:

Bluewater
Brighton
Milton Keynes

(copied directly from the dropdown on this page on LEGO.com)

bluemoose wrote:The Kingston & Birmingham stores weren't making enough money according to the overall manager of the UK stores.


The LEGO brand store in Birmingham's new Bull Ring centre closed because the lease rates was too high according to the store manager I talked to.
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Re: Are there plans for more LEGO stores?

Postby ShockZap » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:49 pm

A LEGO Store in Nebraska (Maybe in Omaha or Lincoln?) would be sweet!
I'm probably cooler than all of you combined.

[*Account "temporarily" suspended for excessive rude behavior to other members. Big shocker there - Don]
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Re: Are there plans for more LEGO stores?

Postby donneyboy » Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:03 pm

Ya, I need one either in Lacrosse, WI, Black River Falls, WI, or Eau Claire, WI, or Winona, MN
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Re: Are there plans for more LEGO stores?

Postby dWhisper » Thu Jul 23, 2009 5:27 am

Well, you can pretty much forget seeing one in an area with less than 400-500k people in a metro area. Omaha might get one eventually, but I'd think that Kansas City or St. Louis would both get a store before it did. I'm sure we'd all love to have a store right around the corner, but it only makes sense for LEGO to expand into a place where they'd get considerable market penetration. And smaller areas, or older areas, aren't the place to go for that.
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Re: Are there plans for more LEGO stores?

Postby bluemoose » Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:19 pm

LEGOscum wrote:The LEGO brand store in Birmingham's new Bull Ring centre closed because the lease rates was too high according to the store manager I talked to.


Like I said, they were still making a profit, even after the rent went up. Just not *enough* profit according to LEGO corporate. It happened to all five of the stores - after a couple of years, their rent went up. Bluewater & Milton Keynes were still making enough profit; Birmingham & Kingston weren't. Brighton was borderline, and they actually announced they were going to close Brighton at the same time as Birmingham & Kingston. But it got a reprieve, and is doing fairly well these days.

I have a reliable source - my wife works for LEGO & we're good friends with the overall Brand Store manager for all 3 of the UK stores :-)

Ian
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Re: Are there plans for more LEGO stores?

Postby buhs » Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:22 pm

Dwhisper: Like my beaver lovin' brethren, I really don't appreciate the Canada slagging... all kidding aside; I agree that Canada should have at least 3 LEGO stores... Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver are very large, international cities… not sure why the LEGO Company won’t throw us some love too.
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Re: Are there plans for more LEGO stores?

Postby jomandybri » Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:58 pm

How about giving Australia ONE store???? Seriously, we do not have ONE. PLEASE, Lego, do us Aussies a favour and set one up in Brisbane and one in Sydney or something!!!
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Re: Are there plans for more LEGO stores?

Postby meeotch » Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:41 pm

Hey now. You said "one" and then asked for two. Let's not get greedy now! ;)
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Re: Are there plans for more LEGO stores?

Postby jomandybri » Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:56 pm

Well, chances are the first one would go in Sydney. But I want one in Brisbane 'cause I live there!!! :)
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Re: Are there plans for more LEGO stores?

Postby legodavee123 » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:02 pm

As I understand it, the biggest hurdle is setting up ONE Lego store in a new country. There are a lot of logistics in terms of setting up a retail store-- sales and income taxes, insurance for visitors, worker benefits and salaries, legal obligations on returns, etc. Plus, there's things like setting up supply lines, figuring out what to stock in what quantities, and more. Once you set up ONE store in a country, you've sort of paved the way for opening more than one, because you've got a framework in place. To a lesser extent, that's also true for US states as well.

Anyway, it's more likely that we'll see more stores in the US before we see them in Canada, Australia, or other countries. But I expect that when/if we see them pop up elsewhere, we'll see them appear in small bunches.

DaveE
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Re: Are there plans for more LEGO stores?

Postby dWhisper » Sat Aug 01, 2009 8:47 pm

I believe that if you check my post history on this forum and the old one, you'll see that at least 13% of my posts go towards ripping on Canada. I intend to raise that at least to 15% before year's end.

A couple of points, working for a retailer that expands internationally on a planned basis. It is very difficult, overall, to get into a new country, even where it'd seem to make no sense. Tarriffs and taxes add to product costs, and economies of scales are eaten away by transportation costs. While Canada has several "large" cities that could hold a store, part of putting in those stores is bring in surrounding communities to the shopping center.

Canada has a lower population density outside of those urban areas, I think because it's hard to ice skate or take a dog sled that far into Toronto. Montreal could do it, but anyone who comes in there is going to be drunk before they make it to the store, making it equally difficult.

To be fair, Canada has a better shot of getting a store than Australia, given the huge added cost of goods and the lack of expansion room once its there. With Canada, you can piggy-back on the US distribution and expand it, but in Australia, you're establishing entirely new in-roads. It costs a lot of money to get product down under, for anyone, unless it's made there. And the question has to be asked, does it make sense for LEGO to operate in a market that gets half the margin of another, or having to charge more for a product to absorb those costs?

For all these decisions, it's a balance between potential profits and cost of making inroads. Yes, there is such a thing as "not profitable enough;" any profit margin has to be able to absorb fluctuations in the economy and business cycle. Make that too narrow and it's too risky to operate it.

On that same note, one thing to keep in mind about international strategy is how product is positioned. By pushing products through retailers, LEGO offsets costs and tariffs to those businesses instead of paying for them directly, which makes it easier to operate. Those stores also get more traffic than a LEGO store does, which are boutique by their very nature. Until it tips enough that it is profitable for both LEGO and those retailers to operate, LEGO will not be able to operate in those markets.

Look at the expansion plans in the US and where stores opened; they were in places that were relatively low-density for their other retail partners. Only recently has LEGO started to expand in the same markets where Walmart, Target, and TRU also operate. LEGO makes more money in their stores, but those stores get less traffic in a month than a slow Walmart does in a day, and until they can open a store without cutting into that margin, you won't see a store pop up in your area.
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Re: Are there plans for more LEGO stores?

Postby LEGOscum » Sun Aug 02, 2009 10:59 am

bluemoose wrote:I have a reliable source - my wife works for LEGO & we're good friends with the overall Brand Store manager for all 3 of the UK stores :-)


You're my new best friend.

jomandybri wrote:do us Aussies a favour and set one up in Brisbane and one in Sydney or something!!!


But not Melbourne, right? ;)
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Re: Are there plans for more LEGO stores?

Postby speaknspell » Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:58 am

I didn't read this whole thread but here's the basic answer:

yes there are more stores coming but I can't tell you where unnannounced stores will be showing up :)

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Re: Are there plans for more LEGO stores?

Postby BlueDragonZ » Sun Oct 25, 2009 3:23 pm

dWhisper wrote:Canada has a lower population density outside of those urban areas, I think because it's hard to ice skate or take a dog sled that far into Toronto. Montreal could do it, but anyone who comes in there is going to be drunk before they make it to the store, making it equally difficult.


I think you made a really good point there dwhisper. I don't think theres going to be any lego stores here in canada for a while. Taxes here are ridiclously high. The canadian government takes 1/3 of the profit made as tax from business. Further more, all items gets taxed (GST, PST, HST, etc) and is pay by the buyer. Don't forget, the pay cheque you get from working is taxed as well.

And it cost a LOT of $ to set up a store here in Canada. But we probably will see a store in canada before austrailia as we're next to USA. Lego Shop @ Home sales is a good indiciation of that. We get pretty much the same thing as the US. At the moment, i guess we can still hang on toysrus, zellers, wal mart to get lego i guess.

Also, if you call customer service at lego and comment on having lego stores, brickmaster subscription in canada... they will forward it to the appropriate department. So the more Canadians demand for it, we might actually get a lego store !
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