When we spoke to one of the executive directors of the Alceon group – the company rolling out a lot of the LEGO® Certified Stores around Australia – last year, we had high hopes for a rapid rollout of LEGO® Certified stores around the country. Then the COVID-19 pandemic, with its associated retail lockdowns and looming recession came along, and those plans were put on hold for a while. In the last week or two we have seen announcements for a new store at Marion in Adelaide, and a second store in Melbourne, at Highpoint shopping centre.
This is along with the opening of a store in Charlestown Square in Newcastle, back in August. In recent weeks, hoarding has appeared outside the store in Marion, and yesterday we heard the official announcement for the new store at Highpoint.
The store will feature all of the things we have come to expect from a LEGO retail experience: Pick a Brick Wall, Build a Minifigure station, as well as exclusive and hard to find sets. Exactly how PaB ad BaM will work as we approach a COVID normal retail experience remains to be seen. Gloves and timelimits were a feature of the Doncaster PAB while it was open in June/early July, while the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre at Chadstone has been selling 3 packs of prebuilt mini figures online.
With Melbourne on the verge of reopening after an extended three month lockdown, with significant restrictions on travel and retail activity, the Highpoint store is an exciting development, at a time when the local retail scene is concerned about the future, in the run up to Christmas.
Alceon Group and LEGO Australia and New Zealand today announced a newAG LEGO® Certified Store will open in Maribyrnong, Victoria in the coming months.
Located at Highpoint Shopping Centre in prime retail positioning on level 3, the 195sqm AG LEGO® Certified Store will become part of a global set of inspiring LEGO® retail experiences.
Richard Facioni, Executive Director, Alceon, comments: “ We are delighted to bring one of the world’s favourite brands to the western suburbs of Victoria.
“We are sure local brick fans of all ages will enjoy the many multi-sensory features inside the custom built LEGO® retail experience, including brick-built symbols of local Victorian landmarks.”
Other iconic LEGO Certified Stores are located in New York, London, Shanghai, Denmark, Dubai, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland.
Cristina Persico, Centre Manager, Highpoint Shopping Centre, says: “At Highpoint, we continue to focus on introducing first to market brands aligned to customer needs while delivering an experience that inspires and excites our shoppers. We are thrilled to be welcoming the iconic LEGO brand to the centre, and we know the store will generate a lot of excitement.”
The new AG LEGO Certified Store will incorporate signature LEGO retail features including a Pick A Brick Wall, a Build-a-Minifigure playstation and a ‘digital box’ where almost any LEGO boxed set can be scanned and come to life. Additional custom features include a large brick wall-mounted mosaic and an over-size 3D model inspired by local Victorian icons.
In February last year, Alceon and The LEGO Group announced an agreement, with Alceon acquiring rights to open new LEGO Certified Stores across Australia and New Zealand.
The new AG LEGO Certified Store will have a wide selection of LEGO sets, including hard to find and limited edition sets, activities and events only available in store.
The Highpoint Shopping Centre store will open ahead of Christmas, with the Grand Opening date announced over the coming weeks.
The Adelaide/Marion store has already advertised for a retail manager, and I am sure it won’t be time before the Highpoint store is looking for staff either, especially in the run up to Christmas.
These new announcements bring Alcecon’s stores in Australia and New Zealand up to a total of 9. We are still awaiting news of any potential Western Australian store openings, as well as Canberra and more regional locations. Time will tell: as a luxury purchase, the prevailing econimic conditions will certainly have an effect on rolling out stores in the future.
There are other certified stores around the country, including Dreamworld in Queensland, and some in airports. There stores operate under other ownership. We are also fortunate to have a number of terrific independent retailers, including ToyBricks and I’m Rick James Bricks in Victoria, and others around the country.
We will bring you news of further store announcements as they come to hand. Until next time,