The new Lego flagship store in London Leicester square opened recently, showcasing over two floors the enduring magic of the simple plastic block.
As befits its location in one of the city’s liveliest locations, surrounded by the Mecca of theatre land, cinemas and numerous entertainment venues, this store has definitely been envisaged with an entertaining ethos in mind.
In keeping with such an experience, there are queues outside, limiting access (is this all part of the show?) whilst the tempting coloured blocks wait inside.
The ground floor is primarily about the wow factor, and with M&M’s world directly opposite this store acts as much as a showroom as anything else. Large sculptures dominate the space, with the London theme inspiring the life-sized tube carriage (complete with historical figures inside.) In addition there is a not so life-sized (but still impressive at 2 floors in height) model of Big Ben, a favourite focal point for those looking to take a selfie or two.
The store itself plays to the strength of the product, with a colour palette of bright yellow interspersed with other eye popping colours. Merchandise is laid out neatly, and the perimeter features small glass display cases with various models on view. A nice touch is that these are set at the perfect height for youngsters, though the number of adults cramming the store might not be so happy with the backache.
Cash desks feature large display screens (although not all were working, a shame in such a new store) and a nice touch are the light fittings which echo the underneath of the humble Lego brick – a great example of utilising your brands DNA in a store environment.
On the second floor are further opportunities for band engagement, with a ‘build your own figure’ station inviting customers to put together a personalised Lego figure.
For those wishing to see what their chosen model might look like, a screen with camera utilises augmented reality to read the boxes and display a 3 version on the screen which can be moved and manipulated. This is a clever implementation of this technology which works really well for this kind of product.
As a showroom location for brand marketing the store will clearly draw people to its brightly coloured world, from both young to old. The retail store aspect takes a slight backseat, although this was probably the intention of both the brand and the design team, as if nothing else Leicester Square is the place to go if you want to be entertained!