Lego will start building its bricks in the US

On Wednesday, the company announced plans to build a 1.7 million-square-foot plant in Virginia that will employ about 1,800 people when completed in 2025. It will be the Danish company’s seventh plant in the world and second in North America – the other is located in Monterrey. Mexico.

Lego used to have a US factory in Connecticut, but it closed in 2006 because the company said kids preferred to play with electronics. Times have changed: Like other toy makers, Lego is experiencing a pandemic-driven boom as families seek entertainment at home.

Its sales jumped 27% last year thanks to the opening of new stores in China and the return of customers to the newly opened stores. The family-owned company said it outperformed the toy industry in all major markets within a year, with sales of over $8 billion for its plastic bricks.

“More and more families are falling in love with Lego bricks and we look forward to starting production of Lego bricks in the US, one of our biggest markets,” CEO Niels B. Christiansen said in a statement.

Building a plant in the US is also helping the company meet demand here, especially when supply chains are jammed and shipping costs skyrocket amid record fuel prices.

“Our factories are located close to our largest markets, reducing the distance our products have to travel,” Lego COO Carsten Rasmussen said in a statement. “Our new US plant and expansion at our existing site in Mexico means we are in the best position to support long-term growth in the Americas.”

Christiansen also noted that Virginia was chosen for the zero-carbon plant because it allows them to “build a solar park that supports our sustainability ambitions and provides easy connectivity to transportation networks across the country.”

The company has long been a target of climate advocates for its plastic blocks and packaging. In recent years, the company has stepped up its sustainability efforts. In 2020, the company announced that it plans to package its products in recycled paper rather than single-use plastic. And last year, Lego unveiled a prototype brick made from recycled plastic.

The company currently employs 2,600 people in the US and has over 100 stores.

— Reuters contributed to this report.

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