LEGO has announced on the LEGO Ambassador Network blog that the company will be testing some new pop-up LEGO Brand Stores in select locations. The first one has opened up at The Shoppes at Buckland Hills in Manchester, Connecticut.
The pop-up LEGO Stores will be somewhat similar to a standard LEGO Brand Store but the main difference is the layout. Some of them will have products sorted by age and the rest will be sorted by price. There are also some other differences which I have listed below from the press release post.
A reason for LEGO opening up pop-up shops is that it gives kids and adults a chance to enjoy some of the fun experiences that they would’ve gotten from other stores like Toys R Us. Obviously, we don’t have TRU stores here in the US anymore so reaching out to that market is a great opportunity for LEGO and consumers to interact with each other.
LEGO is currently testing out the pop-up store experience and if this plan is successful, the LEGO Retail team will have opportunies to open more up in cities that don’t have a LEGO Brand Store near them. Other locations for the LEGO pop-up stores are listed below. LEGO will be asking for feedback so please let them know how you feel about them.
LEGO Retail has shared some preliminary design images for these six stores as well as insights on the two new concepts they will be testing. The stores will not be set up in the same manner as any of the existing LEGO Brand stores. Half of the stores will have their products sorted by age and the other half will sort their products by price. This will allow our insights team to test concepts that have been shared in focus groups to determine best practices.
Each Pop-Up store will feature a play area, interactive play stations, and displays. The stores with products separated by age will feature four key sections 1+, 5+, 7+ and 10+ while the stores separating products by price have sections for Under $20, Under $30, Under $50, Under $100 and Big Builds.
Every Pop-Up store will also be 100% unique is shape as these stores are each filling a empty store within a mall and have not been restructured. Among the changes are that stores will be carpeted while others tiled and some will have multiple LEGO statues and some just one.
A few noteworthy items are how detailed the LEGO Retail designers are in making these Pop-Up stores an experience rather than a store. For those kids with a eye for detail, they will notice the trademark red 2×4 LEGO brick dropped in cracking the floor, just like the store dropped into their mall. They will also see a countdown calendar till the store disappears.
Whats the difference between a Pop-Up store and a typical LEGO Brand store?
-Yes, you will be able to earn and redeem LEGO VIP points at Pop-Up stores.
-There is not a Pick-a-Brick wall or Build-a-Mini station.
-There are no LEGO Brand store Passport stamps available at Pop-Up stores.
-There will not be monthly minibuild activities or other in store events.
-The product prices will be the same at LEGO Brand and Pop-Up stores including any sales.
-Pop-Up stores will try to offer the same gift with purchase promotions.
-Pop-Up stores will have new employees but also at least one experienced employee from a local LEGO Brand store.
Why is there a new for Pop-Up stores?
While many LEGO fans live near a LEGO store there are more kids in the world that have never even seen a LEGO branded store or had the chance to experience the joy that comes from stepping inside. Some kids received a portion of this joy from visiting their local Toys R Us and without that option any longer this will allow more kids, and adults, the opportunity to get the true LEGO experience. While many families will be surprised to be walking through the mall and all of sudden see a LEGO store a few kids close to these six locations could even be getting their first piece of LEGO mail inviting them to come visit.
What does the future hold for Pop-Up stores?
There are some malls and markets that are unlikely to get a LEGO Brand retail store due to size of market and other factors. If this pilot program is successful our LEGO Retail team will have options. These six Pop-Up stores are located in areas with existing LEGO Brand stores in order to leverage experienced personel and distribution routes. This initiative has happened very quick and with the learnings gathered this holiday season their can be a case made to have increased Pop-Up stores in significantly more markets. It is unlikely to be on the scale of such stores as Halloween Spirit, but this will provide a conversation starter.
What can you do?
The LEGO Retail team wants feedback! It is likely that the most common request will be to do more markets or more likely a market closer to the person making the request. The team is looking for more constructive feedback though.
Over the next few months try to visit a Pop-Up store. Talk to the staff, help a grandparent, find a new AFOL to invite to your next meeting, determine if you like the age/price product separation, post a picture on social media and have fun!
In January, the LEGO Retail team will want your feedback, but until then let us know your experience below!
Official Opening Dates:
September 28, 2018:
The Shoppes at Buckland Hills – 194 Buckland Hills Drive Manchester, CT (soft opening today)
October 5, 2018
Mall at Columbia – 10300 Little Patuxent Pkwy. Columbia, MD
Woodbridge Center – 250 Woodbridge Center Drive Woodbridge, NJ
Smith Haven Mall – 313 Smith Haven Mall Lake Grove, NY
Perimeter Mall – 4400 Ashford Dunwoody Road Atlanta, GA
Galleria at Tyler – 1299 Tyler Street Riverside, CA