First LEGO Certified Store in South Africa to open in Sandton City
The Great Yellow Brick Co is bringing South Africa’s first LEGO® Certified Store to Sandton City on 28 July 2018 following a multi-million-rand investment and exclusive deal with The LEGO Group.
The 179m2 Sandton City store is the first LEGO Certified Store on the African continent too, with similar stores found in 20 other countries in Europe, Asia, Australia, Middle East and North America. The Great Yellow Brick Co will open additional certified stores throughout South Africa in the future, expanding its investment in its relationship with LEGO South Africa and creating up to 20 new jobs per store.
The Great Yellow Brick Co, founded by Robert Greenstein, Hayley Greenstein and Greg Bergh, will also be transferring the experience of a LEGO Certified Store into the online world, offering online shoppers in South Africa access to the most extensive LEGO range available in the region.
While LEGO products are available at franchise and independent toy retailers elsewhere in South Africa, The Great Yellow Brick Co is the first LEGO Certified Store in the country, signalling the Danish company’s recognition that South Africa is ready for a premium toy experience in an exclusively branded retail outlet.
LEGO Certified Stores are designed by The LEGO Group, and adhere to store fit-out and experience guidelines stipulated by the Group to maintain its focus on playfulness and creative experiences, rather than on conventional retail principles. Created as experiential playgrounds for LEGO fans old and new, certified stores offer unique features not seen in independent retailers.
“Sandton City is the perfect location for this flagship store. With the recent launch of Sandton City’s Fun District, a level dedicated to family entertainment, the introduction of a LEGO Store enhances the centre’s offering for children,” says Jonathan Sinden, Chief Operating Officer of Sandton City’s co-owners, Liberty Two Degrees.
“Sandton City’s evolving tenant mix is in line with the global trends of premium international retail centres, and a LEGO® Certified Store aligns well with Liberty Two Degrees’ strategy of bringing global experiences to its existing clients, and to South Africa alike.”
The playful and personal retail environment aligns well with 2018 retail trends, which include product and experience personalisation, augmented reality, and the popularity of carefully curated product ranges – all of which are key elements of a LEGO Certified Store. Importantly, while many adult fans of LEGO sets in particular have purchased their limited editions online, the assortment will be even bigger than the current LEGO offering in South Africa as they can now buy them directly from a certified local supplier.
“I’ve always loved LEGO products, so I approached the company in 2014 to open a store similar to what I’d seen abroad, but at the time the brand felt that the local market wasn’t ready for a certified store in South Africa. However, The LEGO Group firmly believes in relationships, and we kept in touch until the time was right to explore the idea further. In 2016, we were given another opportunity to pitch for the contract,” says Robert Greenstein.
“South Africans have had decades-long love for LEGO sets and products, from children who learn the basics of construction, fine-motor skills or the sheer possibilities of the imagination, to adults who will go to extraordinary lengths to complete their themed collections,” says Kristian Imhof, Country Manager for The LEGO Group in South Africa. “We are excited that this dedicated store will give fans old and new the opportunity to continue building their LEGO world.”
The Great Yellow Brick Co has secured an ideal location in Sandton City on a stretch of the mall that is now home to several experiential stores. Found near the Food Court and the mall’s revamped cinema complex, the store is easily accessible for LEGO fans of all ages to drop in and browse, explore and play.
“We won the license to open LEGO Certified Stores because of our extensive retail experience, our understanding of retail trends, and the value we placed on nurturing our relationship with the parent company. The LEGO Group is still a family-run business, even though it was named the world’s most powerful brand in 2017, and holds relationships and a sense of fun and play at its core. We aligned perfectly with this philosophy and look forward to helping South Africans build anything they want to with LEGO products, over and over again,” concludes Greenstein.