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Russia's replacement for Lego stores: World of Cubes

Stock Markets Oct 01, 2022 01:05PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Pieces of Lego bricks are seen in a shop in Paris, France, April 5, 2016. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer//File Photo
 
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By Alexander Marrow

MOSCOW (Reuters) -The multi-coloured toys piling up on the Russian shop shelves may look familiar. But the bright red and yellow Lego store logos have gone, replaced by Mir Kubikov, or World of Cubes.

Russian retail group IRG has unveiled plans for 65 new shops across 20 cities, to replace ones it used to run for Danish toy maker Lego, which exited the country in the wake of the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine.

It is not the first firm to toy with new names since a string of well-known Western brands shut down their Russian operations over the conflict.

Former McDonald's Corp (NYSE:MCD) restaurants reopened as Vkusno & tochka, or 'Tasty and that's it', in June, while the new owners of Starbucks Corp (NASDAQ:SBUX) coffee shops opted for Stars Coffee.

Lego said in July it had terminated its contract with its franchisee IRG which owned and operated 81 stores on its behalf.

IRG (Inventive Retail Group) said on Thursday its new stores would sell official Lego bricks "purchased through parallel imports and other suppliers" alongside other toys.

"The new chain will appear in place of certified Lego shops," IRG said in a statement. "Lego will remain on the list of brands."

Lego said it was no longer affiliated with IRG, had not shipped products to Russia since March 2022 and does not support or facilitate sales of Lego products into Russia.

"We have taken steps to increase visibility and control over any potential resale activity by our existing customers outside of Russia, including adding additional clauses to retailers' contracts," Lego said in a statement on Friday.

Western brands have left in their droves since Russia sent troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, in what Moscow calls its "special military operation". Many of the businesses have voiced opposition to Russia's actions in Ukraine and others have pointed to severe supply chain disruption.

World of Cubes shops have already started opening, and the full chain would be up and running by the end of October, IRG said.

Separately, the Kommersant daily on Friday reported that Dmitry Azarov, previously the majority owner of UK cosmetics retailer Lush's Russian stores, had launched another company, 'List', and started applying for trademarks under the 'Relish' brand for goods including cosmetics, soaps and lotions.

Lush said it was aware and wished Azarov well with his new venture.

"Lush is not involved," a spokesperson said.

Azarov did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Russia's replacement for Lego stores: World of Cubes
 

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Comments (4)
Gus McCrae
Gus McCrae Oct 01, 2022 6:37PM ET
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Why didn't all these corporations get outraged and left the US when America invaded Irak or Afghanistan?
Levan Jackson
Levan Jackson Oct 01, 2022 6:37PM ET
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because the intent was different and they didn't carpet bomb the place. You must not know too much about Russia, if you did you wouldn't be making that comparison. That and I don't recall atrocities like In Bucha committed by the USA in either of those two countries. Either you're trolling or simply ignorant.
Christo Kanev
Christo Kanev Oct 01, 2022 2:04PM ET
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definitely cheaper as Lego overpriced..
Warm Camp
Warm Camp Oct 01, 2022 1:24PM ET
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Do Lego toys have strategic military value? How stupid is stupid?
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Oct 01, 2022 1:24PM ET
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The ammoral find these things. confusing
Levan Jackson
Levan Jackson Oct 01, 2022 1:24PM ET
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it's called paying taxes to a government that will use those funds to make items of military value. How stupid is stupid? Might I suggest a mirror?
Warm Camp
Warm Camp Oct 01, 2022 1:24PM ET
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Levan Jackson  Sure, sure, big taxes.. Tell now about Russia collapsing in a week and Putin overthrown by own servants few months ago.
Levan Jackson
Levan Jackson Oct 01, 2022 1:24PM ET
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there's fact and whatever you're tossing around there. If the company isn't IN RUSSIA they don't pay taxes to Russia. That's the point here. Your statement of the poor children... yes the poor poor children. God forbid they don't have blocks. You've never had kids have you... give them an empty box and they'll happily play with it for hours.
Warm Camp
Warm Camp Oct 01, 2022 1:24PM ET
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Levan Jackson  Sober up, buddy. I did not say anything about “poor children”. Also, you have no means to know how many kids I have. Hate makes you blind, obviously.
Antonio Rivolta
Antonio Rivolta Sep 30, 2022 8:51PM ET
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wow , such a tough punishment ...but wait , is Putin playing Lego or are Russian children ? so we really need to be tough with children??
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Sep 30, 2022 8:51PM ET
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This is being tough with children? Maybe you should think about the Ukrainian children who Russian monsters have driven from their country, bombed their homes and and attacked their parents. That sound a little tougher than having to get blocks at World of Cubes to me.
Levan Jackson
Levan Jackson Sep 30, 2022 8:51PM ET
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You don't seem to understand that Lego has to pay taxes IN RUSSIA TO RUSSIA. Those tax dollars are in turn used to fund the military activities that support the war. Children won't have plastic blocks. I'm sure they will survive not having plastic blocks. Was a time a doll was made of sticks and straw and nobody died.
Levan Jackson
Levan Jackson Sep 30, 2022 8:51PM ET
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don't you love how the two or three trolls thumb down rational comments? wonder how much they get paid, and by whom.
 
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