Ikea, a brand that otherwise adores fun and whimsy (via furniture emojis! Silly ads! "Bedroom cinemas"!) is cracking down on plans for astronomical games of hide-and-seek in its Dutch stores, Bloomberg reports. Apparently 32,000 people were signed up for a hide-and-seek extravaganza at the company's Eindhoven store, plus 19,000 for one in the Amsterdam location and another 12,000 for the one in Utrecht.
These Facebook-organized schemes for massive Ikea invasions didn't come out of nowhere: last summer, the furniture retailer approved a one-off hide-and-seek game at its store in Wilrijk, Belgium. The event came together after 29-year-old Elise De Rijck made a list of "30 things do to before she turns 30" (one of which was playing a game of hide-and-seek at Ikea) and gained huge traction through Facebook. Shortly after, 500 people descended upon the Wilrijk Ikea store and began, as De Rijck recounts, "hiding in fridges, under stuffed toys, under Ikea's blue shopping bags and even in the storage space under beds." ( ↓)
De Rijck, who compares Ikea to "an extremely large living room," says the experience was "really exhausting, but so much fun." It just looks like tens of thousands of people is too much for Ikea, who has now banned similar events for "safety reasons." An Ikea spokeswoman tells Bloomberg, "We need to make sure people are safe in our stores and that's hard to do if we don't even know where they are." Fair enough.
· Ikea Stamps Out Hide-and-Seek Games in Furniture Stores [Bloomberg]
· 12-Year-Old Runaway Finds Home in Fake Ikea Apartments [Curbed National]
· Ikea Debuts Cutesy Emojis, Doesn't Forget the Meatball [Curbed National]