Bored shopper spends six years using every parking spot at local Sainsbury's

·Freelance Writer
·4-min read
Gareth Wild has parked at every spot at his local Sainsbury's. (Twitter/@GarethWild)
Gareth Wild has parked at every spot at his local Sainsbury's. (Twitter/@GarethWild)

A bored shopper has gone viral after he outlined his huge quest of parking in all 211 bays of his local supermarket – using a map and spreadsheet to track his progress.

Gareth Wild began his project in 2015 as a way of making the weekly shop more interesting.

Now the dad-of-two has left his car in every single space in the car park at Sainsbury's in the centre of Bromley, south-east London – which he said was “comfortably in my top five Bromley car parks”.

Outlining his work on Twitter, Wild revealed the completion of his unusual mission – including diagrams of the superstore car park and advice for fellow parking enthusiasts in the area who want to emulate his feat.

Gareth Wild's Twitter thread has been liked over 67,000 times. (Twitter/@GarethWild)
Gareth Wild's Twitter thread has been liked more than 67,000 times. (Twitter/@GarethWild)

On his Twitter thread, which has been liked more than 66,000 times and retweeted by more than 10,000 accounts, the production director explained his method and shared his spreadsheet to thousands of delighted followers.

Wild said disabled and motorbike spaces could not be counted as he is not a blue badge holder and does not own a motorbike.

But he does have children, so included the parent and baby spaces that made up the total 211 spaces for him to conquer.

Wild said of his “Magnum Opus”: "I do the weekly shop in our family and I've been going to the same Sainsbury's for the last 16 years.

"And it was only six years ago when I said to myself, 'wow I could probably park in every single one of these spaces given enough time', and time is on your side when you're doing the weekly shop.

"It's a long time to do anything, let alone something as trivial as this. I've been through three different cars in that time. I find enjoyment in the little banal things in life."

Not wanting to keep his hard work to himself, Gareth posted a handy diagram of the best – and worst – parking spaces available in the car park.

According to his detailed map, there are just 11 "god-tier" bays but as many as 29 to avoid.

The car-parking enthusiast added: "I also assigned different zones – the more I say it the more stupid it sounds – to each of the areas so each time I went it was easier for me to know which ones I still had to tick off, rather than a scatter-gun approach.

"I wanted to go into it fairly clued up, because when you're doing something this daft it's important to be thorough."

Throughout the six-year slog, Wild discovered some spots that were almost impossible to snag, requiring a few extra late evening trips.

He said: "Without getting too technical, when I say B7 and B8 you'll know exactly what I mean. They were really difficult to get. I don't know what it is because they're not even great spots but people seem to love them.

"So I went down one evening for snacks quite late and I managed to snag B8… ooh that was quite a moment in my life."

Reasons to not use certain spaces include their proximity to trolley bays and their walking distance away from the store.

To keep himself from obsessively driving down to the car park daily and finishing the project in record time, Gareth stuck to weekly shopping trips and the odd top-up shop to complete his mammoth task.

Sometimes that meant hanging around waiting for an as-yet unticked bay, much to his children's frustration.

Now Wild has conquered the Bromley superstore car park, he revealed what the next big scheme could be.

He said: "We've actually got a Lidl that's opened up just down the end of my road so considering that – I'm an equal opportunities car parker.

"Bromley's got some amazing car parks. The Glades is really top tier, but you're talking over 1,000 spaces there… I'll be there forever."

Watch: Car parks could become 'lungs of the city'

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