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LEGO Shortage Expected At Many Canadian Toy Stores This Christmas

Monday September 29, 2014

Independent toy stores across Canada see nothing awesome about a LEGO shortage that could leave them thin on one of the world's most popular playthings this Christmas. Canadian Business reported on Wednesday that stores in cities such as Toronto and Calgary have seen their orders for the playing blocks cancelled without notice.

The magazine spoke to Guy Bagley, co-owner of Toronto's The Swag Sisters Toy Store, who said a company sales rep told him that demand has been huge after the release of "The LEGO Movie" earlier this year. "So they oversold production, and because of it, they were cancelling all the independent toy store orders," he said.

Lori Parker of the city's Treasure Island Toys Limited told a similar story, saying that around 15 to 20 per cent of its order had been cut.

Lee Richmond, founder of Vancouver's Kaboodles Toy Store, told The Huffington Post Canada she too has had LEGO orders cancelled. She said that years ago, LEGO shut down its distribution services in Canada, and now stores across the Great White North are having to compete for product with American retailers. "If they don't manufacture enough, we seem to be the ones who have it cut off," Richmond said.

This year's shortage means that she won't have any new product for the holiday season, so Kaboodles will just have to depend on existing stock.

"That hits us really hard," she said. "It's a huge draw and it brings in the customers and usually they see your store, they see your product and they do some of their other shopping at the same time."

LEGO did not return requests for comment from Canadian Business or from Huffington Post Canada. But this isn't the first time that retailers have seen a shortage of the toy. In 2009, a lack of LEGO product in the U.K. led independent stores to sell the toys through Amazon at two to three times the price, The Telegraph reported.


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