World’s Most Pointless Store – Title Contested


In the last post I pointed out that this accolade belonged to Fortnum & Mason – it doesn’t, of course. That title belongs to M&M World Leicester Square, a gigantic, dead shop dedicated to selling little sugary sweets and plastic containers, and nothing else.

As it’s impossible to self-finance a huge site selling this kind of tourist tat (busby wearing M&M, anyone? How about a plastic bracelet for thirty quid?) one can only assumed it’s a vanity project designed to stop the head of the company from hearing the melancholy wind blowing through his soul.

In fact, this M&M World doesn’t even sell the US range of flavours – are there actual flavours? Colours, then – because the additives allowed in the US aren’t allowed here.

The staff desperately attempt to make their terrible, grim jobs less awful by trying to outsmile anyone who comes through the door, and no doubt they’re given ghastly pep-talks by some sad M&M manager about the M&M ‘philosophy’, but nothing can disguise the fact that this is a primary-coloured hole in the ground filled with junk built for divorced dads who have run out of places to drag their screaming hyperactive children.

It seems fitting that the W, London’s most offensively ugly new building, has been dumped on top of it.

10 comments on “World’s Most Pointless Store – Title Contested”

  1. Gretta says:

    Oh dear Gods. How depressing. What next? A Pez dispenser store in Clapham? And M+Ms are only second-rate Smarties, at best! Now if it were a Minstrels store, that would be an entirely different matter altogether…

    I Googled the W building as well, and if it’s that thing that looks like a socking great dirty fishtank with rounded corners, it only compounds the sin. A plague on both their houses. Quite literally.

  2. Dan Terrell says:

    Sounds unfortunate, although the individual bags of M&Ms are big business with the kids here in the States. And some are specially “branded” for only the White House!
    A couple of pieces once in a while aren’t bad. They often get mixed in with raisons and nuts, etc. to make “trail mix” and some other “high energy” sports-food items. Not fond of having them mixed into baked goods – cookies for exp. – which happens, makes things knock-you-down sweet. We definately have too much sugar in the U.S. Have to keep the deep south going.
    But over all it sounds like they haven’t done a job of focus-group tailoring the product for tourists and overseas sales. Let’s see, hummm, brown M&Ms filled with Vegemite, a nice green haggis-flavored one, a pink one sushi-flavored, a white M&M with brown spots lutefisk flavor… Wait, here I’m straying into Bert’s (Bertie’s?) Every-Flavour Beans territory.

  3. Alan Morgan says:

    Big words from a man who sold out on his most famous brand to a pair of quakers back in 1843!

  4. keith page says:

    I couldn’t believe this monstrosity when I saw it; I still miss the Swiss Centre

  5. Vickie says:

    Oh, the hilarity! There are TWO of these M&M stores in Southern Nevada: One mammoth one on Las Vegas Boulevard (i.e., The Strip), chock full of any item you can imagine with an M&M logo or picture on it. The place is usually packed (or it used to be; I have not been there since the last rellie came to visit).

    There is also another, smaller retail outlet all about M&M next to the Ethel M Chocolate Factory & Cactus Garden in Henderson (Ethel M and M&M are both owned by parent company Mars). The first time I saw the M&M store, I was amazed at how many different crap items were for sale with M&M on them and kept wondering how (or why…) an entire store could be filled with a sole theme. The only interesting thing at this site is the very cool Cactus Garden…

    And, finally, I was horrified years ago when I was reading what I thought was a delightfully authentic British crime novel (taking place in the U.K.) and stopped short when it was written that the protagonist walked into a 7-11. WTF? It was a very sad and discouraging moment for me…

  6. Helen Martin says:

    I don’t mind the M&M’s candy but a store full – and no candy? That would certainly make it pointless. The only good bit of advertising they did was when they labelled themselves the Official Candy of the Second Millenium.

  7. Steve says:

    I vote for the M&M store. Fortnum’s isn’t completely useless; they have some wonderful smoked oysters I’ve not been able to find anywhere else. Aside from that, well…..yes.

  8. Wayne says:

    OH and don’t forget Fortnum’s fantastic chocolates…. Mind you, not been there for any in over ten years so can’t say they are still as good…… Food for the soul they use to be. I would pop over the road and by two as a treat on my lunch hour.

  9. Helen Martin says:

    I’ll grant you the oysters and the chocolates so the M&M store has no redeeming quality if it doesn’t sell M&Ms. Had some almond ones at a film last night and enjoyed them while I thought about this post.

  10. Jon says:

    And to think the Swiss Centre died for this …

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