A man completes his mission to park in the 211 spaces of the local grocery store
In 2015, Gareth Wild went on a mission: to park at every location of his local grocery store, a Sainsbury’s in Bromley, a city of London, England.
The lot has 211 spots, and he shops there about once a week, so he figured the challenge might “ease the boredom” of grocery shopping.
“The only real rules I set were that I could only use the eligible parking spaces, so none of the disabled bays, and also that I had to be legitimately there for shopping,” said Wild, manager. from Explosive Company Alan Productions, a creative video studio, told TODAY Food. “I didn’t mean to go wrong cutting the corners, otherwise what’s the point? How could I look my kids in the face if I squeezed in at midnight when the store was closed and ticked off a crowd of places?”
To get the most out of the project, Wild created a map from the car park, using a satellite view of the car park to delimit the spaces. He also has developed a spreadsheet where he could easily follow where he parked.
Wild said that for the most part he had the support of his family while working on the project: his wife was “very supportive” even though his children were sometimes lacking in patience.
“(My wife) is just happy that I shop,” Wild said. “My children are young and sometimes come. They are much more interested in getting out of the car as quickly as possible and tearing up the place in a cart, (so) their lack of patience meant that I sometimes had to park where it is closest and accept that I don’t. not claim a new space that day.
As the coronavirus pandemic has caused delays – UK shoppers have been encouraged to visit grocery stores only if absolutely necessary – Wild announced on Twitter on April 27 that he had achieved his goal. The post quickly went viral – for reasons even Wild doesn’t understand.
“It was never meant to be this thing that I shared with people online and I’m really taken aback by the popularity it has gained,” he said. “I think people have turned to this because there are a lot of people who have taken on similar mundane challenges to kill time and appreciate the level of effort I put into the spreadsheet and the cards. I think of it as a really boring collection of maps, just with parking spaces. “
As the post began to go viral, Wild asked people to consider donating to a local food bank, which led to donations from around the world.
“It took off in a way we could never have hoped for and there have been some very positive results as a result,” said Wild. “In my original tweet, I encouraged people to donate to the local food bank and surprisingly cash donations came from all over the world, which if nothing else tells me this business was not a waste of time.
Wild also shared a map of what he considered “the best and the worst places” of the bunch. He took into account factors such as how close a location was to the store or to the bays in the basket: the places right next to the bays were usually cramped, but “you don’t want to be that far away it’s painful. “to bring the cart back,” he said.
“After spending so long walking around in a parking lot, doing something like that, you might as well share your findings,” he said. “… There are many variables that can make a place good or bad. But you can’t plan when people leave their cart in the parking space and you only spot it when you have already started parking there. .. There is a special place in hell for these people. “
The best parking spots, according to Wild, are usually family spots, which have “extra space” and are “royalty-grade parking lots,” but “everyone wants to park there,” which makes it difficult. their security.
“In the end, I managed to bag everything without having to resort to underhanded tactics, but I will admit that I came down a few nights later that I would usually do my shopping to make the place a little quieter” , did he declare.
Now that his quest is over, Wild says he feels a bit “empty”.
“Yes, it’s a waste of time, and I’m sure a lot of people will think I need to have a life, but these little challenges we set ourselves to keep us from going crazy are what make of us what we are ”. he said. “Six years of playing a stupid game that’s only for your entertainment is a long time to do anything, so when it was over I felt like I had lost the fun of my visiting. shopping. “
However, he plans to embark on another project soon, although he’s not sure what it will be yet.
“Now that it’s over, I really want to take on another long-term challenge; other supermarkets have asked me to come and shop and one of them promises to donate money to charity for every ten spaces I park in doing a shop which I thought it was a good idea, ”said Wild. “I’ll see where the wind takes me.”