Some hide-and-seek enthusiasts were in for disappointment earlier this month when police kept them from playing a massive game inside a Glasgow, Scotland, Ikea, with thousands of participants.
The event was supposed to include 3,000 people, and was organized in a group on Facebook, The Scotsman reported. But employees at the home goods warehouse discovered the plan and called the cops, who stood guard in front of the furniture purveyor until it closed at 8 p.m.
Scotland Police sent five officers to the Ikea, which also brought in extra security. Anyone who looked like an expectant hide-and-seeker instead of someone looking to shop was turned away.
“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,” said IKEA Glasgow Store Manager Rob Cooper, according to ABC 6.
“We need to make sure people are safe, and that’s hard if we don’t know where they are,” an Ikea spokesperson said, according to Money.
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European Ikeas have been plagued by hide-and-seekers for years, The Scotsman reported.
Fast Company reported earlier this month that the trend originated back in 2014, when a Belgian blogger planned an Ikea hide-and-seek game to celebrate her 30th birthday. The company seemed to support that game, and provided extra staff and security, the outlet said.
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However, Ikea has since tried to thwart the multiple attempts at spin-off games across Europe.
“We wanted to make her dream come true — and clearly the dream of thousands of others — but it was an exclusive, one-off thing,” an Ikea Belgium spokesperson told ABC News at the time.
A spokesperson for Ikea Netherlands told the outlet, “We enjoy the idea, but it’s not very good for health and safety.”