Lego Certified Stores are designed by The Lego Group and are found in just 20 other countries. Each store adheres to fit-out and experience guidelines stipulated by the Group to maintain its focus on playfulness and creative experiences, rather than on conventional retail principles.
While Lego products are available at independent toy retailers around in South Africa, Lego Certified Stores stock and display a larger variety of Lego options, interesting installations, exclusive and extended sets, and interactive experiences that are not available in other toy stores and retail inventories.
The Great Yellow Brick Co, founded by Robert Greenstein, Hayley Greenstein and Greg Bergh, are the official licence holders of the Certified Store concept in South Africa. Speaking at the media launch on Thursday, Greg Bergh said that Lego Certified Stores reflect the best of what Lego has to offer retail.
"Lego is a really special toy. It's 100% positive. It evokes warm memories of childhood for some, it's a meditative process for others, and is a source of creativity for all. This store is filled with all the dreamy ideas of passionate people and this is going to be the bright yellow HQ of Lego in the Mother City, and it belongs to everybody," Bergh said.
Visitors to the new Canal Walk branch will find an assortment of products to suit every budget, including collections from Star Wars, Stranger Things, Harry Potter and the Friends TV series. Also on display is Lego's most eco-friendly set, the Ideas Treehouse, with parts made from sustainable materials sourced from sugarcane.
Importantly, the new store has been localised with the inclusion of a Cape Town-themed mosaic, and an impressive 3D model of the suburb of Bo-Kaap, built for the store by a local fan over the course of 1,500 hours using just under 15,000 Lego bricks.
Other product offerings and installations exclusive to the Canal Walk store include:
• Pick A Brick Wall – a custom-built fixture with round canisters, each filled with an assortment of Lego bricks and elements that fans can purchase in set priced cups
• Build a Minifigure Station – a large variety of parts and accessories that allows shoppers to create customised Minifigures
• An augmented reality display screen that helps shoppers visualise the contents of box sets, in 3D, before they purchase
• Special build areas to encourage fans to unleash their imaginations
The new Lego Minifigures Series 19 will launch at the Canal Walk store opening, and will be exclusive to that store for the rest of the weekend.
The first Lego Certified Store in Cape Town is set to open in @canal_walk on Saturday, and we got a peek at the space this morning. Cape Town, you're in for a treat! @LegoCertifiedSA @LEGO_Group pic.twitter.com/cqxxe7VuGP— Bizcommunity Retail (@Biz_Retail) September 26, 2019
Speaking at the launch, Robert Greenstein expressed positivity in South Africa, despite acknowledging that the local retail environment is challenging at the moment. The Great Yellow Brick Co plans to open a number of Lego Certified Stores across South Africa within the next few years, with the first Durban store set to launch in Gateway soon.
Explaining the decision to locate the first Cape Town store in Canal Walk, Greenstein said, “Canal Walk is the Western Cape’s megamall and welcomes a diverse range of shoppers all year round, including Lego fans of all ages. The overall retail experience provides the perfect platform for the Lego brand, and it made great business sense for this mall to be home to our first outlet outside Gauteng."
According to Gavin Wood, CEO at Canal Walk Shopping Centre, the Lego store’s on-trend blend of innovation, focus on shopper experience and appeal across generations adds a special new element to the centre.
The Lego Certified Store is located in Shop 526 on the upper level. Capetonians not able to get to the Canal Walk store can buy the Lego sets exclusive to the Certified Store on the Great Yellow Brick Co’s website.