Inside innovation at LEGO

This episode of Retail Gets Real was recorded in January at NRF 2020 Vision: Retail's Big Show. 

LEGO's COVID-19 Response

Learn more about how LEGO is supporting communities during COVID-19, including donating $50 million to families through the LEGO Foundation.

And watch how one factory is making protective visors for health care workers.

How do you make shopping for LEGOs as fun as building them? That’s the question — and the ambition — behind Martin Urrutia’s work as the head of global retail innovation at LEGO. With more than 25 years of retail experience, his job is to push innovative retail practices that will keep the company at the forefront of customer expectations.

Urrutia joined the Retail Gets Real team earlier this year at NRF 2020 Vision: Retail's Big Show to talk more about the LEGO brand and bringing experiences to life.

Part of Urrutia’s work is to ensure a consistently great shopping experience across retailers, whether that's at LEGO retail stores or one of its retail partners across the globe.

“We know that, through play, children will get inspiration,” Urrutia says. “They will be able to learn more about the future, their capabilities, and prepare for the challenges that they are going to face. So with that in mind, and knowing what is the core or what is at the heart of the LEGO experience, we want to make sure that every time we open a store, we offer a similar experience.”

Toy brands have faced challenges in today's retail environment, but Urrutia believes LEGO is making the right move by focusing on a fun, exciting experience. “It's not about having the products on every shelf," he says. "It's not about only about shipping from the store to your house or things like that. It is actually bringing our brand to life. So we've been working very hard on, as I say, looking into those pinnacle experiences and making sure that we bring them to life. We know that when a shopper's coming to a LEGO store, they want to experience LEGO.”

While many stores around the world are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the brand has kept its focus on encouraging play and nurturing the development of children. The LEGO Foundation has donated $50 million to support children most in need. “Our aim is to urgently reach crisis-affected children with essential supplies and provide support to continue learning through play,” LEGO said in a statement outlining the initiative. The brand also launched and #letsbuildtogether across its social channels as a way to share building ideas and promote STEM education. Read more about these programs here.

More from the podcast

Retail Gets Real Podcast
NRF’s weekly podcast features unfiltered, insightful conversations with the industry’s most interesting people.
Read more
Grooming and wellness go hand in hand for this entrepreneur
Scotch Porter
Read more
How Walmart plans to achieve zero emissions
Read more