Chinese love building things so much they’ve been driving domestic sales of LEGO through the roof.
Last year, sales in the mainland grew 70 percent in the first half alone, fueling global revenue of nearly US$2 billion, according to the New Yorker magazine.
By the end of the year, Chinese revenue had gone up 50 percent, a senior executive said.
That made the Danish toy maker No. 2 in the world behind Mattel of Barbie fame and ahead of Hasbro, maker of Angry Bird and Sesame Street toys.
LEGO expects China to become the linchpin of its growth push in Asia which could overtake North America as the world’s biggest toy market this year.
So why not make those multi-colored building blocks in China?
In fact, LEGO is far along that plan and could be producing the toy by 2017 for the world’s second largest economy — and the rest of Asia Pacific, Shanghai Daily reported Monday.
It is building its first Asian factory in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, with Shanghai, 120 kilometers away, as its Asian distribution hub.
“Setting up operations in Shanghai will allow us to react to the market within a week,” Michael McNulty, senior vice president of Asia manufacturing, told the newspaper.
“Previously, it took eight weeks to ship the products from Europe to Asia. I think it will make the customers and the distributors happier.”
LEGO’s top three regional markets are South Korea, China and Japan.
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