Lego’s new Harry Potter range and ‘constructible’ board games, have proved so popular that the Danish toy manufacturer achieved a 48% rise in UK sales to a new record last year. Mananging director for Lego in the UK, Marko Ilincic, also thinks the proliferation of social media sites have played a part in Lego’s increasing popularity. “There are thousands of websites for Lego enthusiasts and my perception is that this is increasing adults’ interest because it enables them to get together and share ideas about the products,” he told The Observer.
Lego Group increased its global market share of toys from 4.8% at the close of 2009 to approx. 5.9% at the end of 2010. In the UK market share leapt from 4.6% to 6.2% which makes Lego the UK’s third biggest toy maker. Profits for the group surged 63% to £345m last year. Ilincic said: “It has been a tough few years for the retail industry but with our results bucking the trend, we remain confident we can continue to build on our success.”
Looking ahead Lego has a strategy to expand its ‘direct to consumer’ activities, through its popular Lego.com web store, as well as affiliate clubs and collaboration programmes. “The aim is to get even closer to consumers through greater contact, and by expanding offers available direct to consumers,” says Lego’s current company profile document. The company is also planning to design ranges that will appeal to girls, with the potential to attract a whole new audience, not currently as well catered for as it could be.
The Lego Group currently operates on digital platforms through the Lego.com website and video games. Digital business will be further expanded, in particular through Lego Universe, the first MMOG (massively multiplayer online game) from the Lego Group, which launched in the second half of 2010.