It’s (Poké) balls to the wall as the first-ever Pokécentre is coming to the United Kingdom. After taking the world by storm back in 1996, the Pokémon franchise is going from strength to strength.
I remember my mum saying it’s a fad and would be over in a matter of months, but here we are, over 20 years later. With a new game (and a new generation) on the way, Poké-popularity shows no sign of slowing down. We’ve still got movies, anime, comics, and games coming out of our years, meaning there’s still a load of ‘yellow fever’ when it comes to Pikachu and pals.
Appearing on the official Pokémon UK Twitter, an August 5 tweet teased the big announcement of something new alongside an adorable shot of Pikachu in a bowler hat. A later tweet confirmed the Pokémon Centre is coming to Shepherd’s Bush’s Westfield Shopping Centre.
The pop-up store will open its doors in October — just in time to celebrate the launch of Pokémon Sword and Shield.
It's happening, Trainers!— Pokémon UK (@PokemonNewsUK) August 5, 2019
🛒Pokémon Center London
📍 Westfield London, Shepherd's Bush
Popping up for a limited time only this October. Further details will be revealed in the coming months! pic.twitter.com/pp9fTg1d9d
Pokéfans will know that Pokémon Centres have previously popped up in the likes Tokyo, Paris, and America, but now, us Brits are getting in on the action.
There are currently just 11 Pokémon Centres around the globe and they’re (currently) all in Japan. This makes the London branch big news for those little Pocket Monsters.
Sadly, this won’t be a permanent fixture before it floats off the great Indigo Plateau in the sky. The store will only be open from October 18 to November 15, 2019. This means the last day of trading conveniently coincides with the release of Sword and Shield. However, with the queues sure to be around the block, here’s hoping the popularity of the Pokémon Centre might lead to a permanent site for those cute critters.
With Pokémon Sword and Shield taking a different approach, the Nintendo Switch-exclusive titles are based in the magical world of Galar. The game’s big Nintendo Direct presentation gave gamers a glimpse at Galar and a steampunk world that homaged the likes of Big Ben, Stonehenge, and the Houses of Parliament.
There were plenty of other London landmarks, so it makes sense that the capital is the home of the UK’s first Pokécentre. Shoppers are promised plenty of exclusive items only available from the pop-up branch and an experience that is sure to be stupidly popular.
Introducing fans to the long-awaited eighth-gen of Pokémon, Sword and Shield will obviously be the focus of the Pokémon Centre. While we’ve already seen Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble in action, November 19 is sure to be a huge day for Nintendo.
[Featured Image: The Pokemon Company]