The LEGO Group has stopped shipping products to Russia, but its brand stores in the country are reportedly still open for business.
The company confirmed to Brick Fanatics earlier this month that it had halted shipments of products to its brand stores in Russia, citing concerns over the ‘impact of sanctions’ and the country’s ‘unpredictable operating environment’ following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Our thoughts are with all the children and families suffering as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” the LEGO Group said in a statement. “Our priority is the safety of all our colleagues. We are in contact with our Ukrainian team and are providing ongoing support to ensure their safety.
“We are also working to support other colleagues around the world impacted by the escalating crisis, including our team in Russia. We have paused shipments of products to Russia given the impact of sanctions and the unpredictable operating environment.”
However, one of YouTuber Dan Sheekoz’s latest videos (h/t Brick Fanatics reader Paul Trueman), dated March 18, shows that while LEGO Stores in Russia may no longer be receiving new products, they apparently haven’t stopped trading altogether.
At roughly 20 minutes into the clip above – which demonstrates how brands including IKEA, Zara and Pull & Bear have all temporarily ceased operations in Russia – a LEGO Store can be seen seemingly open for business. No customers are visible inside the store, but the lights are on and the doors are open, in stark contrast to many of the other stores in the mall.
The LEGO Group’s original statement made no suggestion that it would be closing its stores in Russia, so it’s perhaps not too surprising to see that they’re apparently still open. But it is a distinction worth highlighting amid the company’s other actions as a consequence of the war in Ukraine, and in the context of other brands seemingly shutting up shop.
Beyond ceasing shipments to Russia, the LEGO Group has also donated £12.3m to support families and children in Ukraine, and has reportedly advised its staff in Russia to avoid attending anti-war demonstrations.
Featured image: Dan Sheekoz