A Pokémon Center will be opening in the UK for the first time, as a pop-up version of the store is coming to London to celebrate the upcoming release of Pokémon Sword & Shield for the Nintendo Switch. Fans of the Pokémon video games will recognize the Pokémon Center name as the place where they can heal their team between battles.
The Pokémon Center name is also used for a line of stores that carry Pokémon merchandise. The majority of the Pokémon Centers in the world can be found in Japan, though a few smaller Pokémon Centers have been opened in the United States of America. There have also been a few temporary pop-up Pokémon Centers in other countries, such as one that was opened in France in 2014.
The Pokémon Company International has announced that a temporary Pokémon Center is coming to the UK to celebrate the upcoming release of Pokémon Sword & Shield for the Nintendo Switch. The store is coming to the Westfield London shopping mall in Shepherd's Bush from October 18 to November 15, 2019, which means that the final day is coinciding with the release date of Pokémon Sword & Shield. The Pokémon Center will give fans a chance to purchase Pokémon merchandise that would normally only be available in Japan, while also offering new exclusive items that won't be found anywhere else.
The major reason why a Pokémon Center is coming to London is that the Galar region from Pokémon Sword & Shield is based on the UK. The information revealed about Pokémon Sword & Shield so far suggests that the map of the Galar region is a flipped version of the UK, with the player starting in an area similar to Scotland, which is in the southern part of the region, and making their way north to a city that resembles London. The interests of the population of Pokémon Sword & Shield also take inspiration from the UK, with soccer being incredibly popular in the region and the industrial nature of some of the cities reflecting the social changes that occurred when Britain shifted from an agrarian to a manufacturing society.
Pokémon Sword & Shield has come under fire due to the changes that have been made to the established formula of the series, in that it won't include every Pokémon. There is still a great deal of enthusiasm for the games, especially among the Pokémon fans in the United Kingdom, who have waited a long time to see their country represented in the Pokémon world, and they will have a chance to share their love for the series when the London Pokémon Center opens later this year.