The queue for the opening of the first ever LCS in Singapore started at around 2am (according to hardened AFOL’s). Our staff started the day before, a team working through the night, stocking, cleaning, installing. It’s almost inevitable that however much buffer is put into the plan it gets eaten along the way and we are down to the wire on opening day. There’s a handover sometime early in the morning between the team who worked over night and the team who will work through the first day. Updates on what has been done, what needs to be done, what can be left until after closing that day because no-one is likely to notice (phew!).
The day team get to work, finalising details, receiving the opening brief to make sure everyone understands their roles for the day. Everyone, from cashier to queue management is an integral cog in how well the day will go.
Usually while this is happening a few people are outside, chatting with the queue, handing out tickets, explaining the fairness & logic behind the one ticket one entry rule, fielding questions about stock availability, gwp t&c’s, handing out water, placating those who thought they would be early arrivals but have just discovered the lengths some will go to be first in the queue. Just as each store is different, each opening is slightly different. Early opening decisions are made by monitoring and balancing queue sizes, mall requirements and general restiveness.
Finally, after months of planning, re-planning, problem solving, meetings, questioning decisions and changing our minds a store is opened and we wait with bated (and always slightly scared) breath for the first Social Media reports to roll in.