BARCELONA: Bricks-and-mortar stores are a vital part of the Lego brand, providing a unique media channel for both shoppers and consumers, according to two of the toymaker’s executives.

Cindy Chu, Global Shopper Insight Manager, Lego, told the recent Omnishopper International conference in Barcelona, that people shopping for the product go online because of price and convenience.

“They are going to a mini-theme park [because] they want to become a child again,” she added. “A lot of shoppers tell us that when they are going to a brick-and-mortar store for our products, they are looking for experience.”

That experience has to work not just for the shoppers (adults) who are doing the buying, but also for the consumers (children), “who are the main influencer in the whole purchase”. (For more, read WARC’s report: Lego’s agile retail store development.)

“The consumer wants what is cool, the thing that all their friends have,” said Chu. And while the shoppers know less about the cultural playground weight of the product, “they care about if the toy is safe, if it can please their child … but also, does it have educational value”.

For both, however, the store is the “retail theatre”, and Martin Urrutia, Head of Retail Innovation, designs stores around what the brand wants people to remember from that store trip.

For the London Leicester Square store, for example, Lego came up with three themes which it felt were strong, but when consumers were asked what they thought, one was quickly scrapped and the other two were combined in a synthesis of London's famous figures and the city’s visual imagery.

"Without the consumers involved you probably wouldn't get the same experience," Urrutia said.

And, he added, it’s important not to get carried away by a focus on the emotional experience. The functional aspects of the store experience – things like consistency in-store, accessible location and guidance – have to work equally well.

Sourced from WARC