The Lego Group joins a list of companies that have not only been able to maintain during the pandemic but have also benefited from more people being at home. The Danish company saw a 14% increase in sales for the first six months of 2020 as children and adults alike look for more ways to entertain themselves.
“We are very pleased to see the enduring appeal of the Lego System in Play and strength of the Lego brand,” Lego Group CEO Niels B. Christiansen said in a statement. During the first half, we attracted new builders of all ages who turned to Lego play to help them through difficult times. More families are playing and learning together with Lego bricks and we are seeing more adults than ever before enjoying building our more challenging sets.”
Beyond the need for more entertainment options over the last six months, Lego can also partly attribute the increase in sales to wisely investing in ecommerce. Compared to the same period last year, Lego.com, the company’s ecommerce platform, saw the number of visitors double to over 100 million. The company also opened 46 more retail stores in the first half of 2020 and has plans to open an additional 74 throughout the remainder of the year. Most of those locations are or will be in China.
“During the first half, we saw the benefits of our investments in long-term growth initiatives such as ecommerce and product innovation,” Christiansen said. “Our strong portfolio appealed to builders of all ages and our recently upgraded ecommerce platform and agile global supply chain allowed us to fulfill online demand. We also collaborated closely with our retail partners to ensure they could continue to supply their shoppers online.”
While making a long term investment in ecommerce, the company also invested in creating an entirely new play experience. In the first six months of 2020, Lego launched ‘digital play experiences,’ which blends digital and physical play. The move was a hit, and downloads of their digital building instructions doubled to over two million downloads.
Lego isn’t the only classic, legacy toymaker to see their sales swell during the pandemic. The maker of Lite Brite, Care Bears, and Lincoln Logs, among others, have also seen growth. They expect a 19% increase in sales over last year.
One of the reasons for that increase shouldn’t come as a surprise. Parents are home with their children more, and it’s possible they’re in a difficult economic position. They’re looking for toys that are familiar to them. “In tough economic times, retro toys do much better,” BMO Capital analyst Gerrick Johnson said. “There are a lot of parents who are financially stretched right now and they’d rather buy something they know.”