The LEGO Group is opening up shop in the UK and the Netherlands in time for the holiday season. The company is opening two new locations in Birmingham’s Bull Ring and Southampton’s West Quay Shopping Centre in the UK, as well as launching its first two stores in the Netherlands—including a flagship store in Amsterdam and another location in Utrecht.
The four new shops will feature a number of in-store activities, including building challenges and scanning stations that allow kids to see 3D-models of construction sets. All of the locations will offer the full range of LEGO products available through the company’s branded stores and website, such as collaborations with the likes of Stranger Things and Harley Davidson.
Additionally, The LEGO Group plans to open a store in Marseille, France later this year.
All of these new openings come at a time of continued success for LEGO, which reported a 4% increase in revenue last year—to the tune of US$5.5 billion. But the brickmaker’s new retail efforts come amid broader toy industry struggles across Europe. Toy sales have declined across the region, with market research firm The NPD Group reporting that sales fell 2% across 13 global markets (including Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and the UK) in 2018.
Toy retail has similarly been struggling since Toys “R” Us shuttered its US operations, with toycos like Hasbro, Mattel and Jakks Pacific attributing 2018 declines to the closures. Then just last week, Tru Kids Brands announced it will bring Toys “R” Us stores back to the US for the holiday season. Two smaller-footprint locations (also with a focus on events and activities) will open in Texas and New Jersey later this year, with plans to open additional locations across the US throughout 2020.