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Ikea predicts chaos, says no to massive hide-and-seek game with 32,000 players

Ikea must be regretting its decision to allow a game of hide-and-seek at one of its Belgian stores last year. The event was allowed to go ahead after a special request from a 29-year-old customer who’d put it on a list of 30 things to do before her 30th birthday. Hundreds of people took part and, presumably, much fun was had.

Fast forward to this week and imagine the company’s shock when it learned that more than 32,000 people had signed up on Facebook for another hide-and-seek game, this time at its Eindhoven store in the Netherlands. That’s right, 32,000.

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With concerns over safety, as well as fears that the store might get utterly trashed, the company said it won’t be allowing the game, scheduled for this week, to go ahead.

Speaking to Bloomberg about its decision, Ikea spokesperson Martina Smedberg said, “It’s hard to control, we need to make sure people are safe in our stores and that’s hard to do if we don’t even know where they are.”

Likening Ikea to “an extremely large living room,” event organizer De Rijck said, “Sometimes it’s fun just to do some childish things.”

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According to Bloomberg, last year’s hide-and-seek game in Belgium had people “hiding in fridges, under stuffed toys, under Ikea’s blue shopping bags and even in the storage space under beds.”

Ikea looks as if it may have a job on its hand keeping tabs on all the hide-and-seek games being planned across its global network of stores, although no doubt it’s keeping an eye on the various dedicated Facebook pages in a bid to keep one step ahead of the organizers.