Business major

Lego will start building its bricks in the United States

The company announced plans on Wednesday for a 1.7 million square foot factory in Virginia, which will employ around 1,800 people when completed in 2025. It will be the Danish company’s seventh global factory and second in North America. – the other is located in Monterrey, Mexico.

Lego previously had a US factory in Connecticut, but that factory closed in 2006 because the company said children preferred to play with electronics. Times have changed: Like other toymakers, Lego is in the midst of a pandemic-induced boom as families seek entertainment at home.

Its sales jumped 27% last year as new stores opened in China and customers returned to its reopened stores. The family-owned company said it overtook the toy industry in all major markets during the year, when sales of its plastic bricks totaled more than $8 billion.

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

Building a plant in the United States also helps the company meet demand here, especially when supply chains are congested and the cost of shipping goods rises amid record fuel prices.

“Our factories are located close to our biggest markets, which shortens the distance our products have to travel,” Lego chief operating officer Carsten Rasmussen said in the statement. “Our new plant in the United States and the increased capacity of our existing site in Mexico means that we will be able to better support long-term growth in the Americas.”

Christiansen also noted that Virginia was chosen for the carbon-neutral plant because it allows them to “build a solar farm that supports our sustainability ambitions and provides easy connections to nationwide transportation networks.”

The company has long been a target of climate advocates because of its bricks and plastic packaging. The company has intensified its sustainability efforts in recent years. It announced in 2020 its intention to package its products in recyclable 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 United States and has more than 100 stores.

— Reuters contributed to this report.