LEGO is opening a number of stores in Europe in the run-up to Christmas and yesterday one in Utrecht opened its doors for the first time. Here's a brief report by Ryan Welles:
It has been a long lasting dream for LEGO fans of the lowlands, but the day has finally arrived that the first official brand store was opened in the city of Utrecht. Even though the official opening is planned for the beginning of November, store doors opened already this morning at 10 am CET. It is a small sized store stuffed with a wide range of products. Many of its employees have been flown over temporarily from the UK and I have been told by the staff the store is currently run by the manager from the London Leicester Square branch.
I was impressed by the more than decent amount of stock, including sets that are on backorder at LEGO.com. The window display showed the newest exclusive sets including a glued version of the Super Star Destroyer, Disney Train and the Ides Tree House. Especially the Winter Village Ginger Bread House proved to be popular.
The store was somewhat hot inside, probably due to the number of people in it. In front of a decent pick-a-brick wall there are three cash counters available. The only gift with purchase available today was a white 2x4 tile with special ‘I heart Lego Store Utrecht' printing. More special treats were promised at the official November opening.
This won’t be it for the Netherlands: a flagship store the size of the one at Leicester Square is due to open in Amsterdam at the end of November.
The next store due to open will be my local one, in Southampton. It opens on the 17th and its grand opening weekend will commence on 26th October.