Leiden, NETHERLANDS — Adults having too much fun at Ikea have been told to knock it off. The Swedish furniture retailer wants shoppers to stop playing hide-and-seek in its stores as the game attracts a growing following on social media.
“We are very happy that people are playful but safety must prevail,” said spokesperson for the Ikea Group Martina Smedberg. “Please don’t play hide-and-seek in Ikea stores.”
It all started in Belgium last year when a woman put playing hide-and-seek in a Ikea store on her pre-30th birthday bucket list. Smedberg said she turned up with some of her friends and everyone had a great time. The game has also been played in Sweden.
But now things are getting out of control. The practice looks set to ramp up from a few friends to something much bigger. Word is spreading on Facebook and similar events are planned in Europe and Canada. 19,000 people have signed up to an event at an Amsterdam store next month.
That’s prompted the furniture retailer, which has 315 stores in 27 countries, to call time on the games.
The company has contacted the various Facebook pages and “kindly asked them to do the hide-and-seek outside the Ikea stores.” Smedberg said most of the organizers have understood and agreed to pull the events.
Shoppers bury themselves in baskets and throughout the various nooks and corners of the sprawling stores.
“We have to guarantee safety in the stores that’s quite difficult if we don’t even know where the people are,” she said.