Ikea Begs People to Stop Sleeping in Stores Overnight

Retailer doesn't think sleepover pranks are funny and warns against trespassing
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2016 11:12 AM CST

Two years ago, Ikea teamed up with Airbnb to invite people to camp out overnight in one of its Aussie locations as a PR stunt. Now the Swedish retailer is pleading with others to stop holding "non-sponsored sleepovers" in its stores, citing safety issues and warning of possible trespassing charges, the BBC reports. The Guardian notes that about 10 incidents of people hiding until closing time have been logged over the past year, including in the US, Canada, Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Japan, Australia, and Poland. The latest happened last weekend in Sweden, when two 14-year-olds stayed over in Jonkoping. "We appreciate that people are interested in Ikea and want to create fun experiences," says an Ikea rep tells the BBC, before making clear that sleepovers aren't allowed.

The pranks were apparently spurred by an August YouTube video showing what happened overnight in a Belgian Ikea when two teens hid in wardrobes until the store closed, then filmed their exploits. The video, which has nearly 2 million views, shows them jumping on beds, reading bedtime stories, and filling out ratings forms (using Swedish meatball as ratings icons) for the food, drink, and facilities. They left the building undetected when the store opened the next day. Meanwhile, the Washington Post interviews the Belgian pair about the motivation behind their umlaut-heavy overnighter. "It started as kind of a joke," explains one. (Ikea has had other legal issues on its mind lately.)

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