— mark hammond (@BlueArrow32) October 24, 2019
Shoppers looking to visit London’s pop-up Pokémon Center store are still facing queue times of up to five hours, a week after it opened.
And even those who manage to enter the store aren’t guaranteed the shelves will be full, with many popular items selling out well ahead of closure time.
Since Pokemon Center London opened on Friday, October 18, the temporary store has seen “unprecedented” demand, according to Westfield shopping centre, which has closed queuing for access to the store on each of its seven days of operation.
So far only those prepared to queue from the early hours have managed to enter the store, with average wait times ranging between four and five hours, according to Westfield.
The shopping centre has closed access to the queue by 2pm on each of the store’s seven days of operation. On some days, queue access closed before midday.
However, shoppers looking to acquire the store’s most sought-after items have faced an even tougher deadline, with stock of many items running out daily.
The popular London City Pikachu plush, Chilly’s Bottles and London City Pikachu pins have sold out on most days before 2pm, meaning anyone who started queuing after 10am would have been unlikely to have been able to purchase these items.
The store has previously warned that, despite daily restocks and a limit of six items per customer, some products may sell out entirely before the shop’s closure on November 15.
On Tuesday the store moved to “improve in-store experience for visitors” by reducing its operating hours to 10am-6pm.
Pokemon Center London sells a range of Pokémon Center-branded products, including designs exclusive to London, and offer visitors limited access to a Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield-themed area featuring a playable demo of the upcoming Switch game.
The pop-up shop, which will be located at the Shepherd’s Bush shopping centre until mid-November, opened at 10am on October 18.
Permanent Pokémon Center stores have been in operation throughout Japan and North America for several years, offering many exclusive items for sale.
Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield releases on November 15, the day the pop-up store in London is set to close its doors. The title’s available to pre-order from retailers including Nintendo, Amazon, Best Buy and Game.