Ikea tells teens to stop holding sleepovers in its stores
'The fun is overrated,' says Swedish company, as trend spreads around the world
Ikea has issued a worldwide call for teenagers to stop camping out in its stores overnight.
Spokeswoman Johanna Iritz said yesterday that the Swedish furniture company has recorded ten incidents in the past year involving youngsters hiding in wardrobes and attempting to sleep over in stores.
The craze appears to have originated with two Belgian YouTubers, who managed to hide in a store and escape undetected after it reopened the following morning. Their video has been viewed 1.7 million times.
That has been followed by similar attempts in the US, Canada, the Netherlands, Japan, Australia and Poland, says The Guardian.
An attempt by two Brits to sleepover, which ended when they were caught after three hours, has logged 2.3 million views for their YouTube clip.
The latest attempt came from two 14-year-olds in Sweden, who failed to stay in a store in Jonkoping last weekend. As with the other would-be lodgers, no criminal charges were brought.
Iritz said: "Maybe needless to say that the fun in it is overrated. A long night of sitting still, only to then risk getting into trouble with the law."
An Ikea UK spokesperson told the BBC: "We appreciate that people… want to create fun experiences. However, the safety and security of our co-workers and customers is our highest priority and that's why we do not allow sleepovers in our stores."
Ikea has sanctioned its own isolated sleepovers in the past, including offering a one-night stay at a store in Sydney, Australia, for £6.20 as part of a promotional tie-up with Airbnb in 2014.
Its store in Lakeside in Essex also held a Facebook competition in 2011 that saw 100 people invited to stay overnight as part of an event that included minor celebrities and evening entertainment.