Glasgow police shut down a 3,000-person hide-and-seek game at Ikea

Thousands of people responded to a Facebook event for a game of hide-and-seek at a Glasgow Ikea. Le Tellec Stephane/ABACA/CP

It’s easy to get lost in Ikea, but imagine playing a game of hide-and-seek with 3,000 people in one.

That’s what one Facebook thread — which seems to have since been deleted — proposed to do at the store’s 700,000-square-foot Glasgow location on Saturday.

Police intervened in the plan after an Ikea employee noticed the game was taking place, Yahoo Finance reports.

READ MORE: Ikea dining table recalled in Canada over reports it can partially collapse

“People are stopping everyone who looks like they are here for a game of hide and seek,” one told the publication after visiting the Glasgow store.

The store drafted additional security, as well as the assistance from Police Scotland, who dispatched five officers.

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They remained until the store closed at 8 p.m., reportedly turning away groups of youths who appeared to be arriving for the fun.

Rob Cooper, IKEA Glasgow Store Manager, said in a statement: “The safety of our customers and co-workers is always our highest priority. We were aware of an unofficial Hide and Seek Facebook event being organized to take place at our store today and have been working with the local police for support.”

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While we appreciate playing games in one of our stores may be appealing to some, we do not allow this kind of activity to take place to ensure we are offering a safe environment and relaxed shopping experience for our customers.”

But this isn’t the first time people have had the genius, yet dangerous, idea of playing the game at Ikea, given its maze-like quality.

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The trend first began in Belgium in 2014 and spread like wildfire across Europe, with many smaller games popping up.

READ MORE: Ikea to cut 150 Canadian jobs among 7,500 jobs cut worldwide

A year later, more than 32,000 people signed up for a massive round of the game at the Eindhoven location in the Netherlands.

Thousands followed suit in Amsterdam, Utrecht and Prague stores.

The Swedish furniture store officially banned customers from playing hide-and-seek in their stores for safety reasons.

Martina Smedberg, a spokesperson for Ikea, told the Toronto Star: “We need to make sure people are safe, and that’s hard if we don’t know where they are.”


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