Regardless of if one resides in Russia, Romania, the United States, or Australia, IKEA’s are usually the biggest stores in any city. It’s pretty easy to find yourself turned around and lost, even while looking for a towel! That’s why some revelers realized IKEA would make a fantastic location for a game of hide-and-seek…
Start Of The Trend
While no one’s exactly sure where the trend started, by 2014, there was already many IKEA hide-and-seek meet-ups going around the world. By far the biggest, which happened in Belgium, saw a whopping 3,000 people descend on a single IKEA. Afterward, in order to generate publicity and ensure everyone’s safety, the local IKEA management picked up on the trend and tried to coordinate the event the next year. Of course, it endorsed the store, made it public, and got it even more popular than before. Who can blame them?!
After that, the trend continued spreading around the world, to countries like America and the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, the organization also decided on some important rules, ensuring the same game across all continents. The rules for IKEA hide-and-seek are as follows:
- You are not allowed to hide beyond the car park.
- You must not vandalize/break any of the items in Ikea.
- You may only play in the customer areas i.e. no entering the staff-only areas.
- NO STEALING!
Unfortunately, like all good things, IKEA hide-and-seek would soon suffer a devastating blow – only to rise once again from the ashes!
Even after supporting this kind of game, IKEA didn’t want its customers to get hurt or lost in the store completely. So, eventually, in 2016, the company banned anyone from playing the childhood game in all 423 of their stores moving forward. Immediately following the ban, IKEA advised all managers and staff to keep their eye on customers, ensuring enforcement of the ban. Even today, the rules are that, if you try and play hide-and-seek in an IKEA, they will kick you out for life. However, that has not stopped certain people from continuing the now-banned trend…
The Hide-And-Seek, 2019
It didn’t take hide-and-seek long to return, as the ban simply could not stop dedicated players who find IKEAs the best place to play hide-and-seek. Just last year, a whopping 3,000 people managed to play a game of illegal hide-and-seek inside an IKEA in Glasgow! Unfortunately, as stated, IKEA no longer allows hide-and-seek. So, scared and worried about customers and the participants, the store management decided to call the police!
After the majority of participants were cleared out, five of the officers stayed behind to catch any stragglers. “We need to make sure people are safe, and that’s hard if we don’t know where they are,” said an IKEA spokesperson.
Some comment that even simple buyers were asked if they have hidden plans while entering the store. To be honest, how else can you understand if the person is trying to find hiding or just looking for a new bed for their kid? “People are stopping everyone who looks like they are here for a game of hide and seek,” an online user reported after visiting and answered other questions for curious people browsing the net.