It’s no secret that Ikea’s big box stores are so big, that many find themselves lost.
So much so, last weekend thousands decided to see if they could successfully hide inside an Ikea store in Scotland.
The trend for using Ikea’s giant warehouses for games began in Europe a few years ago – and has seen people hide all over the stores: under beds, fridges and even in the retailer’s big blue shopping bags.
On Saturday staff at Braehead, Glasgow, caught wind of a Facebook event that indicated around 3000 youths were about use the store for a local version of the game.
As if extra security wasn’t enough, Ikea contacted Police Scotland, who sent five officers.
Throughout the afternoon, groups of youths who looked like they were only there for the game were refused entry into the store.
Word then spread on social media that the hide and seek game had been shut down – dispelling others from coming.
However, police stayed at the store until it closed at 8pm.
“To the person who said they phoned the store, this event is not organised by Ikea and they now won’t let people in,” one Facebook user posted on the thread.
“People are stopping everyone who ‘looks like they are here for a game of hide and seek’,” said Lewis Phillips, believed to have gone inside the store.
In 2014, Belgium first saw the hide and seek trend before it spread rapidly across Europe, with Ikea bosses initially allowing the events.
Nearby in The Netherlands, 32,000 Facebook users signed up for a game in Eindhoven, as well as 19,000 in Amsterdam and 12,000 in Utrecht.
However in 2015, Ikea banned the games as the events were getting out of control.
“We need to make sure people are safe, and that’s hard if we don’t know where they are,” an Ikea spokesman explained, citing health and safety.
“The safety of our customers and co-workers is always our highest priority.
“We were aware of an unofficial Hide and Seek Facebook event being organised to take place at our store today and have been working with the local police for support,” Ikea Glasgow store manager Rob Cooper said.
“While we appreciate playing games in one of our stores may be appealing to some, we do not allow this kind of activity to take place to ensure we are offering a safe environment and relaxed shopping experience for our customers.”