01/10/2003. Contributed by Jessica Martin
Forbidden Planet opens the world's largest SFF store in London. NOW UPDATED with details of the 'Nest's first secret shopper visit!
To celebrate their 25th Anniversary, Forbidden Planet has just launched a new flagship 'mega-store' at 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, UK.
It is the largest science fiction and cult entertainment store in the world (10,000 sq ft) and has over 1 mile of shelving and in excess of 25,000 stock lines on 2 floors.
The first Forbidden Planet store opened in 1978 as a small shop in Denmark Street (Tin Pan Alley, where the Rolling Stones first met) London, specializing in comics and science fiction books. Two years later they opened a second store for the growing interest in Film & TV collectables.
Over the following years, Forbidden Planet has opened stores in a number of cities in the United Kingdom and in 1988, moved their flagship London store to New Oxford Street.
The New Oxford Street store is currently being re-tooled as an 'outlet store' ... read place to sell off the old stock cheap.
The full address for the megastore is:
179 Shaftesbury Avenue,
Tel 020 7420 3666
The store is open: 10.00am - 7.00pm Monday to Friday. At the weekends, times are 10.00am - 6.00pm on Saturday, and 12.00am - 6.00pm on Sunday.
UPDATE: LUNCHTIME VISIT THIS WEDNESDAY
We had a look around the megastore this lunchtime and it is big, very very big! The stock looked like it was still settling down into its new positions, lots of toys and collectibles upstairs, comics and books downstairs. More staff, and the joint is nice and light with plenty of space.
Slightly lacks the dusty library-like charm of the old place, but with so many extra goodies the new building is bound to grow on us.
And the staff? They looked stunned by the slick new vista that had opened up before them. In the words of 'Apocalypse Now', "the light and the space of Vietnam had really put the zap on the kid's mind."
The lift was still being worked on, and Nick Landau - owner of the Store and Titan Publishing - was strolling around like General Patton with his clipboard while the shopfitters marvelled at how interesting the stuff on display was compared to their normal runaday store work.
The extra space has really allowed the FP to ramp up its product range, with entire sections of the store dedicated to sub-genres like Japanese model kits and 'adult' graphic novels.
Sci-fi retail has finally come of age.
Stephen Hunt's novels - USA