Updated: Jan 25, 2022
According to a new press release from The LEGO Group, there are plans to merge the Pick a Brick section with the Bricks & Pieces section in customer service on Shop@Home. The LEGO Group explains that, "analysis has indicated that our current setup isn’t always the best experience [and] differentiation between our Pick a Brick and Bricks & Pieces experiences isn’t always clear. This new merged experience will bring our portfolio into one place, with clear visibility on standard versus bestseller elements."
The LEGO Group's goal is to offer a complete catalogue for customers to browse through the company’s entire catalogue of available LEGO elements, all in one place on Shop@Home. This new change is also being done in an effort to improve shipping times in the US and Canada, which is expected to be done through a new fulfillment area inside on of the LEGO Group’s existing US warehouses, which will hopefully reduce the standard shipping times from 13-18 working days to just 5 working days.
Currently, shipping for the Bricks & Pieces section is delayed up to 5-6 weeks in the United States, but prior to the current backlog of orders, most likely the result of all the new releases in January, some US Customers were reporting orders arriving in under 10 days—so some of these changes may have already taken effect for certain elements. Anyone who is familiar with both parts ordering services knows that you can only order up to 200 of a specific element through Bricks & Pieces, whereas Pick a Brick you can order as many elements as needed—the key drawback being, only certain elements are available through Pick a Brick. The other key difference between the two services is that elements available through Pick a Brick are usually cheaper than if you purchase the same element through Bricks & Pieces. The new system will hope to remedy both of these factors.
Customers who place larger orders currently need to split their order between Pick a Brick and Bricks & Pieces. The new merged experience will mean larger orders can be placed in one spot, with greater visibility on delivery times. -The LEGO Group Spokesperson
Some other new changes will mean that pieces marked as bestsellers will now show a yellow tag, similar to what is seen on Shop@Home for certain sets, and these parts will ship from either Poland or the United States, depending on where you're located. Common elements, like bricks, plates, and tiles will all be delivered directly from Billund's warehouse. This means that while the two shopping experiences will be merged into a single catalogue, the company's parts libraries will still be separate—meaning, your checkout basket on Shop@Home will be split, with individual thresholds for standard and bestseller pieces. If you end up meeting the threshold, similar to the minimum order value threshold for Free Shipping on Shop@Home, you won’t have to pay any handling fees on your order.
Another new change will be that all parts orders will now count towards gift-with-purchase (GWP) purchase thresholds, whereas previously, Bricks & Pieces orders were exempt from promotions. The first changes will take effect on January 23, when Pick a Brick will be unavailable for 48 hours in North America. During this time, the LEGO Group will implement the new fulfillment section on Shop@Home. The merging of Pick a Brick and Bricks & Pieces will then be slowly rolled out in the UK, France, Germany, and the Netherlands in early February, followed by the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand in late February.
A further two new features will also be introduced as part of the parts ordering system update, including a "Pick and Build hub" to test and launch new experiences, and Shop@Home will also feature an online version of the Build a Minifigure (BAM) stations that are currently only available at LEGO Store locations. The online BAM service will only be available in Europe and Asia, and will use Minifigure parts from 2019 and 2020.
If you're not familiar with the Bricks & Pieces section of Shop@Home, it has been a convenient way to pick up rare and exclusive elements from newly-released sets, which helps if you're interested in creating a Black Falcon army and don't want to purchase a ton of sets to fill your ranks. The LEGO Group says the same will still be true of the new combined experience, but they go on to warn that, "We might see a change around how fast we will sell newly-launched exclusive elements," but only time will tell.