UK Pokemon fans rejoice! The UK’s first Pokemon Centre is here, and I was invited to the store’s preview day on 17th October
This isn’t the first time Pokemon have opened pop-up shops outside of Japan: the previous pop-up shop was in Paris, France. However, the new store coincides with the release of ‘Pokemon Sword and Shield’ where the game’s map is based
on the UK.
The shop sells exclusive Pokemon Centre London merchandise, including fleece throws, umbrellas, T-shirts, hoodies and a limited-edition metal pin badge. While some of the prices are a little expensive (e.g.: the Pokemon Exclusive hoodie is £65, and the miniature plushies and keyrings are between £11-12), the quality and limitation of the products make them worthy of their price tag. Other prices are as expected for what the brand is: medium-sized plushies are around £20, the London Exclusive t-shirts are £25 and sticker packs are £6.
The second floor of the store is dedicated to ‘Pokemon Sword & Shield’ where visitors can play a 10-minute demo of the new game. The chosen section of the demo gives players a good indication of what the game will be like; it shows the puzzles the player might encounter, the Pokemon battles as well as a Gym battle.
The store also looks gorgeous, and the staff are all friendly and welcoming. Overall, I had a fun experience, tried not to spend all my money (this was easier said than done!) and played a demo of the new Pokemon game. After hearing about how popular it’s been on its opening day today, I really hope the Pokemon Company make this store permanent. Westfield Shopping Centre in Shepherds Bush is the perfect location for it, and I really do believe it will do well.
The Pokemon Centre London is in Westfield Shopping Centre, Shepherds Bush. The pop-up store will be open from 18th October-15th November 2019.