🧱 Lego’s growing empire


October 5, 2021

The Hustle

Last week, Slack went down. Yesterday, Facebook went down. For all we know, tomorrow, Google Docs could go down. And if that happens, God save us.

Today’s rundown:

  • Building blocks: How Lego keeps growing.
  • Chart: Forget $5. Subway’s in the process of a $1B turnaround.
  • Future meme stock: EV truck maker Rivian — backed by Bezos and Amazon — is eyeing an $80B IPO.

Let’s do it.

The Big Lead
toys

Lego is proving toys are still big business

Playtime has been moving online for years now. In January 2020, the CDC reported the following screen time statistics:

  • US children between 8-10 spend an average of 6 hours per day in front of a screen
  • US children between 11-14 spend an average of 9 hours per day in front of a screen

Despite the pandemic accelerating the trend, Lego is proving that kids still have an appetite for analog toys.

The company is already considered the top toymaker in the world…

… and cemented that status after posting a 46% jump in first half sales, according to The Wall Street Journal. The firm attributes its success largely to holding firm to a long-term multichannel strategy that includes:

  • Ramping up improvements to its digital platforms (digital sales increased 50%)
  • Continuing to open brick-and-mortar stores, including a new immersive format that recently piloted in New York

The growth comes despite supply chain issues that are rattling the industry. Hasbro — makers of Transformers, My Little Pony, and Play-Doh — recently raised prices due to supply chain issues.

Lego not only hasn’t raised prices but also expects to meet demand across all its markets for the holidays.

The firm also has ambitious goals on the horizon

In June, Lego released a fully sustainable brick prototype made out of recycled plastic bottles as part of a plan to use fully sustainable materials by 2030.

The company is also growing like crazy in China, which recently set a ban on video games for children under 18 — meaning Lego’s target customers in the region have a lot more time on their hands.

In other words, for Lego, everything is awesome.

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SNIPPETS

Yeezy, round 2: Kanye West’s $90 Gap hoodie is already fetching 10x the price in the secondary market. #ecommerce-retail

Mosquito coast: Climate change fueled one of the worst mosquito seasons in recent memory. #clean-energy

Rapid-test revolution: Several companies are working on COVID-19 breathalyzers, which could deliver results as quickly as 30 seconds. #emerging-tech

Hospital hacks: A new report found an increased risk in patient mortality due to ransomware attacks at hospitals, which arise from security gaps with 3rd-party providers. #privacy

Missing coins: Coinbase reported that a hacker stole cryptocurrency from 6k customers using a MFA vulnerability. #fintech-cryptocurrency

Bank withdrawal: Google ended plans to offer bank accounts to Google Pay users. #big-tech

Chart
Subway infographic

Visual: Zachary Crockett

Forget $5 — Subway just found the right ingredients for a $1B turnaround

“Five. 5 dollar. 5-dollar footloooong.”

About a decade ago, that jingle worked magic for Subway. But over time, stiff competition and overexpansion put sales out of tune.

This year, though, Subway launched digital upgrades and menu updates, and the business is back to slicin’ and dicin’:

  • Over 5k Subways have seen a 33% increase in sales
  • August sales in the US were the strongest since 2013
  • The company expects to beat 2021 targets by $1B+

“Billion. Billion-dollar. Billion-dollar footloooong.” Damn, that’s a good jingle.

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EV News
Amazon trucks

Amazon-backed Rivian is going public

When it comes to the Bezos vs. Musk billionaire beef, space is the main event — pitting Blue Origin against SpaceX.

Back on earth, there’s another battle brewing: electric vehicles.

While Musk has Tesla…

… Bezos is backing EV truck maker Rivian, in which Amazon owns a ~5% stake, per CNBC. Rivian filed its IPO papers last week and currently sports $0 revenue and a loss of $994m through the first half of 2021.

For the company — which is eyeing an ~$80B valuation — it’s all about the future. Here are some plans, per TechCrunch:

  • Something for everyone: Rivian will roll out both a consumer product (pickup truck) and a commercial product (van)
  • The Amazon assist: The ecommerce giant has committed to ordering 100k of Rivian’s electric delivery vans (presumably, this will help increase revenue from $0)
  • Ford in the mix, too: The US car manufacturer also has a ~5% stake in Rivian, and the 2 companies have swapped car manufacturing know-how

Rivian has a $1T serviceable addressable market…

… per company filings, which refers to business it can serve in the next 3 years. The company employs 6k+ people and currently operates an assembly plant out of Illinois.

Unlike Tesla’s Cybertruck, Rivian’s pickup truck (R1T) has already hit the market. Priced at $67k+, reviews so far are positive — per CNBC.

The first iteration of the van is expected by the end of 2021… and the next subtweet from Musk is probably coming any day now.

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AROUND THE WEB

🤵 On this day: In 1962, “Dr. No” — the 1st of 25 James Bond films — debuted in London. To learn about the family business that owns a share of the $7B franchise, check out our Sunday story here.

🧜‍♀️ Art: Not 1 but 2 US mermaid museums opened independently of one another in March. Both are self-funded, women-led projects on opposite coasts.

🥽 That’s interesting: For just $11m, this abandoned 250-acre water park in California’s Mojave Desert could be yours! It originally opened in 1962, but has been plagued with bad luck ever since.

🚌 Haha: An NYC woman who rented out vans with expired tags on Airbnb for $97/night has been removed from the platform. The shady operation had few reviews, but this one is pretty funny.

🧠 How to: Neuroscientists say you can use pleasant experiences, such as a favorite treat or other reward, to help your brain retain information.

🦦 Aww: And now, an otter living its best life, juggling a single rock.

Meme of the day
lego meme

Source: LatinAmerican Post

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