LEGO Shortage Warning Prompted by Extraordinary Surge in Demand

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Hungary Factory LEGO Production of DUPLO bricks

There may be a shortage of LEGO sets in the shops this Christmas, according to a report by Reuters news agency.

The Danish company has recently overtaken the mighty Mattel as the world’s largest toymaker and leaving Hasbro in third-place. In the first half of 2015, global sales rose by 18%.

Roar Rude Trangbæk told Reuters: “We will not be able to deliver all of the orders coming from customers in the remainder of the year”.

When asked why the company had not foreseen an increase in demand, he said: “It is really extraordinary and it has exceeded both ours and our customers’ forecasts…We are running our factories at maximum capacity and will do everything we can to meet demand”.

Orders that have all ready been placed by retailers will be delivered in time for Christmas, however, orders placed now may not be delivered until the new year; but after all, we are in the second last week of October with just nine weeks until unboxing day.

Toy specialists are likely to have committed to ordering large numbers of LEGO sets earlier in the year, fully aware that a new Star Wars film will be out in December and that LEGO Elves may appeal to children that like the recent popular Friends theme.

The Entertainer is one such specialist, a head office employee of the rapidly expanding toy retailer has stated : “Our Lego stock is plentiful…rest assured, we’ve stocked up for Christmas so you don’t have to worry about disappointing anyone.”

LEGO production is almost unique in the toy industry, the company does not design a product and commit to producing a set number of units. Individual LEGO bricks and other elements used in its construction kits are constantly being manufactured ready to be put in a wide number of building sets, depending on popular demand. This is why you rarely see any clearance or close-out deals of LEGO sets.

Certain sets, as always, will be in short supply or have a limited production-run, this is quite normal and leads to a buoyant secondary market for LEGO sets.

In response to the widely published news, LEGO issued a press release stating : “Towards 2022 the LEGO Group plans to expand and invest significantly in factories in Mexico, Hungary and Denmark to match the increasing demand…”

The company expects to increase its workforce in Mexico from 3,500 people to 6,500 in 2022. In Hungary, LEGO expects to raise the number of employees from 2,400 to 4,000. There is no plan expansion of manufacturing in LEGO Group’s long-established headquarters in Billund, Denmark.

Informer : Reuters (published verbatim in the Guardian)

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