LEGO Group set to build greater China success
Denmark-based toy giant LEGO Group looks forward to scoring greater success in the Chinese market by building on the country's opening-up momentum.
The China International Import Expo has sent a strong signal that opening-up is a key way to support global economic growth, LEGO Group CEO Niels B. Christiansen told Xinhua in an interview during the event.
Christiansen said the expo is a good opportunity to showcase products and the philosophy of learning through playing, engage with consumers and learn from peers. This is the second time for the Danish firm to attend the expo, as the company is "happy with last year's outcomes."
LEGO Group opened over 70 branded retail stores across China after attending the first CIIE, including the company's first such store in northwest China in a move to expand its footprint in the country's inland and lower-tier cities.
The company unveiled a Chinese New Year Temple Fair set and Lion Dance set at the ongoing second import expo, after rolling out two products with Chinese traditional festival features during the first CIIE.
China is seen as the group's "strategic growth market," which recorded double-digit growth in consumer sales in the first six months.
LEGO Group will further invest in China, with plans to open 80 branded retail stores in 2020, according to Christiansen. Its fourth Chinese flagship store will open in east China's Hangzhou next year, he added.
The company has partnered with Chinese e-commerce platforms like Alibaba to boost its sales and branding. It also teamed up with tech giant Tencent to soft-launch the children's mobile game LEGO Cube.
Despite the fast expansion of digital games and platforms, Christiansen said physical toys would still be LEGO Group's focus. "Bricks are the foundation while digital tools will help improve the play experience. The future will be about 'fluid play' where kids can jump between physical and digital."