Firstly, before we (my sister and I) even left, we wanted to see whether any stores had any offers and goodies. There were quite a few, including £50 gift cards to the first 20 customers at Forever21, with the first 500 receiving a goody bag with a pajama set. The Apple Store was giving away free t-shirts to the first 1000 people through their doors, and many other stores were offering free products and samples, when you made a purchase. We decided to go to the Apple Store, as we knew that there was no chance that we'd even get into Forever21, and from the pictures below, you can see what I mean!
We left the house at 7:30am and got to Stratford station at just before 8am. No, we didn't climb the stairs (used the escalators) and the walk across the bridge (which goes over the train tracks) wasn't too bad as it was pretty empty. Here are the pics that I managed to take throughout the day =)
at 8am in the morning opposite Stratford Station
walking across the bridge to WSC
the queue outside Forever21
Forever 21 Store
Kiko Make Up Milano Store
Inside Kiko Make up Milano
Looking kinda empty at 8:30am
Getting a bit busier at 9am around the Apple Store entrance
Outside the Apple Store (i know it doesn't look like it, but there was an orderly queue outside the store, which was blocked off so people couldn't just randomly cut in)
Inside the Apple Store (employees wearing blue t-shirts)
Visitor Guide (and the t-shirt box underneath)
Outside the shopping centre, people were watching Nicole Scherzinger live, on a big screen (I think).
WSC packed out at 1pm
Stopping for a Mr Pretzel along the way! (i had a vanilla sugar one) =)
Unfortunately, the 2nd floor restaurants and food court were closed to the public (due to VIP guests), but my friends and I were able to find a space in the Lower Ground Floor food court to eat. There was also a Glamour Magazine Photo booth next to the Krispy Kreme kiosk, so we took quite a few (free) photo's. It was extremely busy which wasn't helped by the fact that security and WSC staff tried to create a one way flow of people (which I thought was a disaster). Mainly because there were quite a few places which were blocked off from public access and the sheer number of people, and let's imagine- you come out of a store and want to go to the next store on the left hand side, but you can't because everyone is walking towards the right side, therefore you have to go all the way around the balcony bit (if that makes sense) in order to get to the store you want to go to.
I didn't manage to go into every single store (didn't even attempt Primark!) but the ones that I did go to were Apple, John Lewis, Lego, Forever21, Lush, Waitrose, Gruis, Accessorize and Kiko Make Up Milano. My friends and I spent over an hour in John Lewis (in the beauty department), just trying out makeup and skincare products. I didn't really purchase much, as this was more of a window shopping opportunity to see what was available and there were stores which will be opening in the near future, including H&M, MAC Makeup and Pinkberry. Overall, I was in WSC for over 8 hours (from 8am to 4:30pm!) and still didn't see everything. We didn't get to see the stores which were located outside of the actual shopping centre and missed having lunch at one of the restaurants (and finding out if Nando's is Halal).
Here are some pictures of what I did purchase, and a few goodies that were included =)
Free Apple Store t-shirt
Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser Starter Kit from John Lewis
(Always wanted to try this as there are so many good reviews, and hopefully will be great for my combination/sensitive skin!)
gift bag treats were a nice surprise (with purchase) =)
Lego Hermione Keychain from Lego Store (I am a big kid at heart!)
Socks and False Eyelashes from Forever21 (Couldn't leave without buying something!)
I'm hoping to go back once the crowds have thinned out a bit, or maybe when H&M opens on the 30th September =)
Will you be braving the crowds at WSC anytime soon? Let me know =)