The LEGO.com website provides more than product info and an online shop for their many sets and products. It also provides additional services such as building instructions for numbered set builds. That usually works in conjunction with having plenty of LEGO bricks and pieces already. But if you need specific parts then LEGO.com offers you two avenues. One is the Bricks & Pieces customer service. They replace missing or broken pieces from packaged sets. The other is Pick a Brick, where one can buy individual bricks/pieces by quantity. You probably look at those descriptions and think: Don’t these two services basically do the same thing?
Apparently LEGO has been thinking the same, according to German LEGO news source Promobricks. To that end, the company has announced plans to merge their Pick a Brick and Bricks & Pieces pages. A recent series of surveys LEGO conducted online appears to be the impetus for this move. As it turns out, their customers knew of either Pick a Brick, or Bricks & Pieces, but not the other. By combining the two services into a single front-end hub, builders looking for pieces will have easier times exploring. LEGO bricks seemingly exclusive to either service will now be available universally.
The LEGO.com Pick a Brick-Bricks & Pieces merge will also benefit US and Canadian customers. Part of the reorganization also involves opening a new North American-based fulfillment center this month. To facilitate this change, they will temporarily shut down Pick a Brick from January 23 to 25. The combined hub will be soft-launched sometime afterwards, in early (UK, Western Europe) and late (NA, ANZAC) February. LEGO also plans to test a new Build-a-Minifigure service soon, but only for Europe and Asia.