I have never been to a LEGO shop and had a bad experience (although my wallet has!) but I was wondering if people had a preference of one shop over another? I'm lucky because where I live, Leicester Square, Stratford and Bluewater are all within my reach, and a couple of times I've been to Brighton as well. My preference however, is Bluewater first, Stratford 2nd and Leicester Square last (not fair to rate Brighton as I've only been there twice).
Leicester Square is a great place, and the displays are second to none, the stock is normally excellent, the staff are always friendly, but I don't get the same feel I do at the others? Like I say, I've never had a bad experience, just not as great as at the other two.
Stratford is smaller of course, and their customer base is different than central London, but I find them very helpful and the staff more knowledgable than at Leicester Sq.
Bluewater is my number one, probably because ever since I went in many years ago, as a reborn AFOL and too embarrassed to say the stuff I was buying was for me, they gave me that look that said they did not believe me, and they helped me realise that adults could enjoy LEGO too, without shame! lol Many years later, it's like going to see a friend, they always have staff that are knowledgable, chatty, and although the other stores have "expert bag feelers", they are always on hand to assist looking for that elusive minifig!
I have also been in all three with my children, but again, Bluewater always seemed to pip the others at the post for the "family" feeling.
I don't know if Bluewater has more consistency in it's team, because despite meeting very friendly staff in the other two, never seem to see them again?
I know I'm lucky to have the option of three shops to visit, and I must reiterate that all the LEGO shops are great, but I just thought I'd ask if anyone else has a preference of which is their favouirte shop and why?
There are two Lego Stores here in Montréal, but I only really visit one. The staff at the Laval location are all freaking rockstars! It's a bit farther of a trip for me (it's off the island, on the north shore), but the staff there always make it worth the trip. There was an occasion where the entire staff on shift were feeling out CMFs for me, despite having other tasks they were supposed to be attending to. They're always willing to bend the rules a bit to ensure I leave completely satisfied. They're everything you've come to expect from Lego's outstanding customer service, and then some. :D
That said, I fully agree with your points, and maybe it's turnover of staff in certain locations that cause lack of knowledge?
The staff in both locations are very helpful, but maybe because it's our first choice the staff in Leeds greet me more enthusiastically and will help me out more: assist with my CMF bag feel searches, no reluctance with multiple transactions for GWP, that sort of thing.
I don't mind if they're not knowledgeable - I already have all that in my head - I want them to be efficient and friendly, which they always are.
The LDC at Trafford Centre is both easier to get to (motorway then a vast car park) and harder to get to (it's not in the main building, you have to go somewhere else) and it feels a bit... impersonal? Like it's not quite as friendly. Might be because I don't go there very often.
And online will always win for certain things, but I'm presuming those are pretty much for granted these days, and the 'in-store' experience is for shopping requirements that online stores do not cater to (exclusivity and the look of something 'in the hand' so to speak).
There is now a new Lego Store 5 minutes away from my house, but I still prefer the Disney Springs location.