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LEGO stores in China ...

bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
edited November 2011 in Everything else LEGO
I can't find it now, but there was some debate on the site in the last couple of weeks about Lego stores in China and whether they were legitimate or not ... I was pretty certain that they weren't 'genuine' LEGO stores (there is no reference to LEGO have stores outside of UK/US/Germany/Canada/Denmark in any of their current corporate documents), but suspected they might have been licensed stores - owned & operated by a 3rd party but with LEGOs blessing (effectively as a franchise); I know these sorts of stores existed in the past in the UK, for example.

So after a bit of digging I came across this ...
http://english.cri.cn/2946/2007/09/12/[email protected]
... which seems to show, at the very least, that there was a legitimate LEGO store in Beijing back in 2007.

However, a bit more digging found this in the LEGO corporate annual report for 2007 ...
" ... In China the first LEGO shop opened in Beijing in cooperation with the chain store Kidsland ..."
... so it isn't a 'proper' LEGO Brand Store (i.e. not owned or operated by LEGO, none of the staff are LEGO employees), but a licensed store.

( Check it for yourself on page 9 ...
http://cache.lego.com/upload/contentTemplating/AboutUsFactsAndFiguresContent/otherfiles/downloadD1AC784E0C5E8AE82B2B003CD88C4464.pdf )

It also mentions in the 2007 Annual Report that the deal in China was based on a concept already in use in Japan. And I've found references to 'LEGO Stores' in Russia, which I assume are also based on a similar concept.

Anyone got additional details on these 'off the books' LEGO stores, or aware of any others elsewhere on the planet?

Comments

  • The_Brick_BuilderThe_Brick_Builder Member Posts: 658
    edited November 2011
    I've been to China this recent summer. I stopped by a mall, and there was an official LEGO Store! Yep, I was very surprised. It was located in Beijing. They even had the Death Star, Fire Brigade, Grand Emporium, Emerald Night, and a ton of City sets. Unfortunately, they did not have a PAB wall, but it still was amazing! I have to go back soon.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,877
    The Moscow store is/was an 'official' one, it even had its own Duplo brick: http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=4066pb167, but as you say it doesn't get a mention anywhere at LEGO.com anymore so I guess it might have closed.
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    A Moscow store is mentioned in the 2002 & 2003 annual reports, but I can't find any mention of it since (or any other stores outside US/UK/Canada/Germany/Denmark) in subsequent LEGO corporate publications ... so I guess it's gone.
  • DatoDato Member Posts: 111
    Not that I am saying the "LEGO Stores" you saw in China weren't genuine, but China does have a track record of doing unauthorized "copy exact" of brand-name storefronts:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14503724

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