Marvel superheroes power up Lego’s sales

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Fashions of superheroes and villains from Marvel’s “Avengers” films helped elevate first-half gross sales at Lego, because the Danish toymaker continued its turnaround drive with investments in China, India, the web and new shops.

FILE PHOTO: Lego emblem is seen at a toy retailer in Bonn, Germany, September 5, 2017. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photograph

Lego, well-known for its colourful plastic bricks, returned to gross sales progress final yr after a decade of double-digit will increase got here to an abrupt halt in 2017.

The corporate, which competes with the likes of Barbie maker Mattel Inc (MAT.O) and Hasbro (HAS.O), mentioned on Tuesday gross sales rose 4% between January and June to 14.eight billion Danish crowns ($2.2 billion). In native currencies, gross sales grew 2%.

Niels Christiansen, who took over as chief govt in 2017, mentioned that matched the corporate’s ambitions for single-digit progress over the total yr.

“And I believe we’ll ship on that.”

Lego mentioned it gained share in its largest markets, with double-digit progress in China and single-digit progress in the US and western Europe.

However working revenue declined 16% to three.5 billion crowns as a result of new investments.

“It’s shifting quickly towards e-commerce and towards actually particular retail experiences. That calls for lots from what you are able to do digitally, IT-wise and store-wise,” Christiansen mentioned.

“In the long run, it’s a battle over the time children should play in,” he added.

Lego variations of Marvel’s “Avengers” characters comparable to Captain America, Iron Man and Thanos had been among the many prime sellers within the first half, whereas Star Wars-themed merchandise and the corporate’s older constructing units like Lego Technic and Metropolis additionally contributed to progress, it mentioned.

Regardless of a shift towards on-line gross sales, the corporate plans so as to add 35 outlets in China by the tip of the yr, taking the overall to greater than 140 there and to just about 600 worldwide.

“You can not say the bodily expertise is just not mandatory, simply because extra is purchased on-line,” Christiansen mentioned, underlining the significance of “try-vertising”, the place children take a look at out new merchandise in shops.

“It’s actually essential in a rustic like China, the place it’s important to construct the model. It’s a bodily product.”

Christiansen mentioned he hoped Lego’s push into India, the place it at the moment sells by way of third social gathering shops, would mirror its success in China, although it has not determined whether or not to open its personal outlets there but.

“I’m wondering if we would have Lego-branded shops in India in the future too. I believe so”, he mentioned.

Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and Nikolaj Skydsgaard; Enhancing by Mark Potter

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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