Lego has announced it is opening its first experiential retail space in New York City as it experiments with new retail formats.
The new 7,175 sq ft store is “designed to create an immersive world of Lego bricks by blending unique digital and physical experiences,” according to the toy-maker.
Despite the huge growth in ecommerce operations over the past 12 months, bricks-and-mortar retail spaces continue to offer important roles in strengthening customer’s relationships with brands and Lego is standing by the traditional model with the new store, however offering a twist.
Experiential retail is the idea of giving customers experiences in store which then hopefully convert into sales.
“For a number of years we’ve seen the trend towards people visiting stores forhigh-quality, entertaining brand experiences,” Lego chief commercial officer Colette Burke said.
“Over the past year our fans have missed personal and tactile interactions with the brand and we can’t wait to welcome them back.”
Lego said it has spent two years developing its new retail model and researching what shoppers want when they visit a Lego store.
The company said it found that people wanted more experiences to play with bricks and take part in brick-building activities.
Colette added: “While our existing store format has been very successful, we are evolving it to strengthen brand love and create memorable experiences people will talk about long after they leave”
“We want people to walk into our stores and feel immersed in a world of LEGO bricks.”
The new store will feature experiences such as an interactive “Brick Lab”, which customers will experience a virtual world.
The store will also include an interactive “Tree of Discovery”, made up of over 880,000 Lego bricks and is the centre piece of the new flagship, designed to express Lego’s commitment to inclusivity and having a positive environmental impact.
Other features will include a storytelling table, personalisation studio, mosaic maker and more features designed for shoppers to interact with.
Lego said the new store model has been designed so it can be replicated in Lego stores of different sizes as well as in third-party retail spaces.
The experiential model will be introduced to over 100 Lego stores around the world during the coming year the company has announced.
The Lego Group currently has around 730 branded stores in 50 countries and has plans to open 120 new stores during the coming months.
As well as its investment in its bricks-and-mortar operations, it also plans to invest into its ecommerce capabilities after seeing positive figures in the last 18 months.
The Lego store saw the numbers of visitors to its online store double to over a quarter of a billion and has seen numbers continue to rise.
Colette commented: “We’re seeing significant growth across e-commerce channels, but we also understand the distinct and important role that each of our retail channels plays in building the brand”
“We will continue to invest in innovating across all our channels to create compelling experiences online, instore and with our retail partners.”