In Depth

‘Rise of the kidult’: Lego builds profit and sales as all ages enjoy play

Danish toy company benefits from families spending more time together during lockdown

The Lego Group has credited a steep hike in demand for the company’s toys to an increase in families “playing and learning together” during coronavirus lockdowns. 

As growing numbers of grown-ups get in on the fun, in what The Guardian describes as the “rise of the kidult”, the Danish firm has recorded revenues of 15.7bn Danish kroner (£1.8bn) for the first half of 2020, a year-on-year increase of 7%. And operating profit increased by 11% to 3.9bn Danish kroner (£465.6m). 

Attracting new customers of all ages was a major factor in Lego’s positive H1 results, according to the group’s CEO Niels B. Christiansen. “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,” he said.

Lego figure heads
New stores to open 

Lego’s first-half results prove that it’s not all “doom and gloom” for the toy industry despite the global pandemic, with the company seeing sales rise by double-digit percentages in Asia, Western Europe and the United States, the Financial Times reports. 

“We’ve done it despite Covid-19,” Lego boss Christiansen told the newspaper. “Over the last 18 to 24 months, we’ve invested behind our product portfolio, ecommerce and our brand.

“Fundamentally, this is paying off. It’s less connected to where stores are closed or there are lockdowns.”

Indeed, while the retail sector suffers from job losses and store closures, Lego is on course to open 120 new shops this year, the BBC reports. 

Bricks-and-mortar stores have a “solid future”, Christiansen says, despite social distancing restrictions and a drop in footfall.

“When our stores have reopened after lockdown, there have been queues,” he told the broadcaster. “We give people the brand experience in our shops which we can’t do outside.”

Lego Super Mario Adventures with Mario Starter Course
Building business in China 

Lego currently has 612 retail outlets around the world, including 14. Of the new stores set to open, 80 will be in China. 

Along with new products such as Lego Super Mario, this year has seen the group launch Lego Monkie Kid, the first theme designed around Chinese folklore.

Across the world, theme sets including Star Wars, Disney Princess, and Harry Potter continue to be Lego’s most popular items.

Market research firm NPD told the Guardian that complex construction kits such as Lego’s Technic sets for a Bugatti and a Land Rover Defender were among the top-selling toys in the UK during the first half of 2020. 

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