The man running Lego A / S wants to merge the toy maker's iconic building blocks with digital gadgets to help revive a slump in sales.
“We see this as a way of keeping children for later age groups, “chief executive officer Niels B. Christiansen said in an interview. “
Christiansen, who became CEO in October, is trying to keep Lego of the world. Lego has so far had mixed results with its digital forays.
While the 2014 The Lego Movie and some of the company's video games were successful, its big 2010 bet on an online multiplayer computer game, Lego Universe was a flop.
Christiansen says the basic building block will still be the focus as Lego designs new products. He pointed to Lego Boost (19659002) “We need to get Lego focused on the right things , “he said. “We must have strong and innovative products.”
Christiansen took over just as Europe's biggest toy maker hit a wall, ending a decade-long streak of surging revenue and profits.
From 2010 to 2015 alone, sales more than doubled as then-CEO Jorgen Vig Knudstorp returned record profits to the owners, the billionaire Kirk Kristiansen family. But growth took place at what the Danish company had called “supernatural”.
In 2017, sales and profit slumped as Lego had to reduce inventories that were based on excessively optimistic forecasts. It cut 1,400 jobs, about 8% of its workforce.
Christiansen says the clean-up is now over, with sales expected to start growing again next year. “Right now we're focusing on a few priorities and using our new organisational structure to move more decisions out to consumers and to the market,” the CEO said. “It's obvious that we win in the long run by being the most creative.” – Bloomberg