SilentMode’s Store Crawl 2017 was completed in the eight days I’d planned for it, with very few problems along the way. It’s been a few days since coming down from the travelling high, during which I’ve been in bed a lot longer than I should.
Outcome of the Store Crawl.
After receiving a fresh passport from the Glasgow store, I became the first person to have it stamped at all 14 UK Lego stores. (If I’m not actually the first, then one of the first.) You can see the botched stamp from the Leicester Square store on page 6.
It would have been great to fit more stamps on each page, as there’s a lot of wasted space. It might be possible to fit eight stamps on a page, assuming we don’t want any across the fold. I took the sticker sheet out of the passport, as I won’t use them anyway.
Now the Store Crawl is over, there has been a nagging question at the back of my mind. Do I go after store stamps from other countries? If so, where would I begin?
I seriously doubt I’d visit every single store in the entire world, as that would be an expensive trip. Neither would I be crafty and post the passport to each of the stores, having them stamp it for me. For one, there wouldn’t be enough space in the passport; for another, that would be inauthentic.
I would have liked to use my existing passport for the Store Crawl, as it contains stamps from the Leicester Square pre-opening that I’m not sure I can obtain again. However, it’s great that I have a fresh one specifically for the Crawl.
Things I’ve learned from doing the Store Crawl.
The Store Crawl wasn’t just about Lego stores and passport stamps; there were plenty of other things that surfaced as a result.
Fame really isn’t for me.
Certainly in the opening stages of the Store Crawl, I was saltier than anything about the obliviousness of the staff at the Lego stores, as well as near silence online. Had anyone else been doing this Store Crawl, I was convinced, it would be all over the Net. There would be a meet and greet in every city. People would be happy to see them. On and on it goes.
Eventually I brought myself down to earth with a cold realisation. I’ve been around for a while, but I’m still comparatively unknown, and haven’t really done anything to warrant recognition. Additionally, I’ve not done so well when I’ve had exposure or fame: the best example being my involvement with the DK books.
It’s great to have attention and be recognised, but not everybody has to be – or should be – in the spotlight. Certainly not all the time, anyway. There’s no shame in not being mainstream, as long as you can make it work.
Above all else: if I was doing this Store Crawl just to get attention or recognition, I was doing it for the wrong reason.
The journey is more important than the destination.
I’m someone who mostly cares about getting from A to B in as little time as possible. (There’s probably a name for that.)
One thing I definitely didn’t do during the Store Crawl is spend most of my time at train stations or in hotels, claiming to have visited places. I made sure I did something significant in every city, especially those I hadn’t been to before.
As a result, I can talk about numerous experiences: visiting the Botanic Gardens in Glasgow; walking several miles to the Lego store in both Newcastle and Sheffield; an introduction to geocaching in Leeds; long train journeys to and from Cardiff; going off the beaten path in Brighton; several other things.
Even if the Store Crawl wasn’t as glamorous as I’d have liked from the outset, there have been several experiences that made it worth it. In many ways, those experiences were more valuable than getting the stamps.
Plan everything in advance!
If you’re going to do your own version of the Store Crawl, do yourself a favour and plan everything way in advance. Obvious things such as booking hotel rooms and train tickets, and not-so-obvious things such as train routes, access to launderettes and logistics.
Hotels and especially train tickets will become more expensive the later you leave them. The only reason I didn’t buy train tickets in advance was for flexibility, especially with places I hadn’t visited before.
Although it makes sense to allow more time for exploring each city, there were definitely places (namely Liverpool, Sheffield and Milton Keynes) I wouldn’t have wanted to stay in for long.
How I’d rank the stores.
Let’s leave aside the obliviousness to the Store Crawl, and take into account how I was received at each of the stores on my arrival. Let’s go by the premise that I was just your ordinary [insert demographic here] anonymous customer, who happened to be visiting the store.
Bearing in mind that my mood was up and down throughout the journey, I had ranked them in the following order (from best to worst):
- London Westfield
- London Stratford
- London Leicester Square
- Milton Keynes
Once again I’d like to give Bluewater props for the extra special treatment I’d received. I couldn’t give them the top spot for one simple reason: I’m 60% sure that, had it not been for a word in their ear, things would have been different.
Glasgow came out on top because a staff member took an interest in my visit from the beginning, which was a great start to the Crawl. The staff at Leeds deserve an honourable mention for noticing my promotional shirt.
A final thought.
To get to Bluewater from Brighton, I had to catch an interconnecting train from London Bridge. As I live in London, it would have been the easiest thing in the world to go home and drop my suitcase off, before resuming the journey.
My video promo stated at the beginning: 14 retail stores, ONE epic journey. If I had gone back to the workshop, it would have been more than one journey – and I would have robbed myself of the achievement.
This concludes SilentMode’s Store Crawl 2017. Whether it’s acknowledged or not: I set myself the challenge, I talked about it, and I’ve accomplished it. I already miss the travelling, the overnight stays… and even the walking.