Pop goes the chaos: Opening day at POP MART’s Thai flagship store at CentralWorld turns topsy-turvy

Photo via Facebook/ Wattarporn Hama and ThaiRath

Leading art toy company POP MART introduced its inaugural flagship store in Thailand at the popular Bangkok shopping mall, CentralWorld. Regrettably, the opening day took an unexpected turn, resulting in chaos and posing a threat to the safety of customers waiting in the queue.

The first-ever POP MART flagship store, spanning an area of 169 square metres, was officially unveiled on the ground floor of CentralWorld today. To mark the momentous occasion, the company announced exclusive promotions, which included 140 giveaways for customers spending a minimum of 10,000 baht, as well as special Opening Limited toys for every customer purchasing at least 2,000 baht.

The special offers attracted the attention of both Thai and foreign customers, especially Chinese. The Thai members of the Facebook group, POP MART Thailand Community and Market, said today that Thai and foreign toy collectors queued up from 4am today to buy the store’s exclusive products.

Pictures shared on social media revealed hundreds of customers queuing outside the mall. Many Thai netizens claimed that Chinese nationals who wanted to buy the toys for resale had hired Thai homeless people to queue for them.

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Some said that Chinese nationals who were queuing on their own were doing very dangerous things, such as running over others and bumping into the crowd to jump the queue.

One group member shared pictures of people fainting and collapsing on the ground outside the mall. One woman shared a picture of herself with bruises and scratches.

Another netizen shared a video of two Thai men arguing with a crowd when the two tried to jump the queue. In the comments, people said that the two did not look like toy collectors. They must have been hired by Chinese nationals to get into the queue.

There were also videos and pictures of a man, claiming to be Chinese, hiring Thai people to queue for him outside CentralWorld.

A Thai woman in the group said that POP MART was responsible for the chaos. She accused the brand of causing danger on its grand opening day without considering the safety of its customers.

The woman explained that there were several methods the brand could have used to avoid the dangers, but they chose not to employ them. She added that the staff did not care about safety either. They changed their rules every minute from first come, first served, to a random queue and even mentioned that they would cancel the sale for the day.

According to the woman, the staff team also changed the waiting area making the crowd move together at the same time and causing a stampede. The woman concluded that POP MART’s marketing team was cruel enough to hurt people for making the brand famous.

The official Facebook page of POP MART Thailand has not yet clarified the incident or announced a solution to the problem. Some Thai netizens reported that the staff asked people to register online within 15 minutes of the online form opening to get a chance to buy toys.

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queue POP MART Thailand
Photo via Facebook group/ POP MART Thailand Community & Market
Photo via Facebook group/ POP MART Thailand Community & Market
POP MART Thailand
Photo via Facebook group/ POP MART Thailand Community & Market
Art toys POP MART
Photo via Facebook group/ POP MART Thailand Community & Market

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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