December 22, 2016 1:49 pm
Updated: December 23, 2016 10:14 am

Ikea warns customers in Canada not to attempt sleepovers in its stores

Ikea, the leading home furnishings retailer, has warned that teenagers who have illegal sleepovers in their stores are guilty of trespassing.

Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Ikea has warned people not to try to sleep over in their stores after hours saying it would amount to trespassing and could lead to trouble with police.

A spokeswoman for the Swedish home furnishings retailer, Johanna Iritz, told The Associated Press people often hid in wardrobes when stores close for illegal sleepovers. The company has recorded about 10 incidents in the United States, Canada, Britain, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Japan, Australia and Poland.

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Stephanie Harnett, a spokesperson for IKEA Canada, said while there have been attempts here, no one has successfully spent the night at Ikea stores after employees lock up.

“We appreciate that people are interested in IKEA and want to create fun experiences, however the safety and security of our co-workers and customers is our highest priority which is why we do not allow sleepovers in our stores,” Harnett said in an email.

READ MORE: IKEA agrees to $50M settlement after its dressers tipped over, killing 3 children

Iritz also said  the fun was “overrated,” adding a night at Ikea ends with “getting into trouble with the law.”

The sleepover trend reportedly started when two teenagers spent the night in an Ikea store in Belgium in August this year and uploaded a video of their antics to YouTube, which racked up nearly two million views.

The latest incident appears to have occurred last weekend when two 14-year-old girls attempted to stay over at an Ikea outlet in Jönköping, Sweden.

The Local, a Swedish news outlet, reports the furniture store did not report the incident to police because of the girls’ age.

“Ikea had a good dialogue with their parents who really appreciated the seriousness,” an Ikea spokesperson told The Local.

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The trend also appears similar to series of YouTube videos called the “24-hour overnight challenge” that show people hiding out overnight in various businesses. Ottawa police issued a warning in November after a man uploaded videos of him spending the night at stadiums, malls and hotels.

Jason Ethier, also known as “JayStation” on his YouTube channel, was charged with trespassing.

“If they want to leave proof somewhere where we can find it, it makes our job a lot easier,” Ottawa police Const. Marc Soucy told Global News in November. “If it gets to court it’ll make that decision a lot easier too.”

— With files from Mike Le Couteur and The Associated Press.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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