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Police Called To Ikea To Shut Down 3,000-Person Game Of Hide-And-Seek

It might be hard for some passionate Ikea-goers to believe, but I only just recently stepped foot inside one of their massive locations for the very first time. And I'll admit it, after getting lost a few times, I definitely thought about the great hiding potential the spacious, maze-like layout offers.

Just think about any Ikea you've ever shopped at. The average location is around 300,000 square feet and filled with room after room of perfectly constructed Swedish furniture. The possible hiding spots are endless.

But did I hide while I was there? No. That's what separates me from apparently some 3,000 other people who chose to turn their local home furnishings store into one giant game of hide-and-seek.

One Facebook group had the brilliant idea to set up the sneaky game at an Ikea store in Glasgow, Scotland.

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According to Global News, this particular Ikea is 700,000 square feet, more than twice the size of the average store. So it's really no wonder why this spot was picked for the 3,000-person game.

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It was all set to go down on Saturday, but unbeknownst to organizers and participants, word had already gotten out.

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Early into the day-long game, police were called after one employee noticed people hiding inside the store. I'm sure these hiders were trying to be as inconspicuous as possible, but it's hard to play it cool once you've been spotted trying to squeeze yourself inside a Malm cupboard.

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Once they figured out what was going on, the Ikea was closed and local police stood guard outside the front doors.

Additional store security was also dispatched to help the officers turn away any large groups of young people who looked like they were showing up to join in on the hide-and-seek fun.

The store remained closed to the public until 8 p.m.

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Of course, the greatest concern for Ikea staff wasn't that the hiders might scare away business, but that the game was posing a safety risk.

Giphy | The Crush

“The safety of our customers and co-workers is always our highest priority," Rob Cooper, IKEA Glasgow Store Manager, said in a statement. "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.”

He added, "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.”

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This isn't the first time an Ikea store has been used for a massive game of hide-and-seek.

Giphy | Rhein-Neckar Löwen

The trend actually first began in Belgium in 2014 and has only continued to spread. In 2015, a shocking 32,000 people people signed up for a massive round of the game at the Eindhoven store in the Netherlands.

More have taken place in Amsterdam, Utrecht and Prague stores, forcing Ikea to officially ban the practice for safety reasons.

According to Ikea spokesperson Martina Smedberg, “We need to make sure people are safe, and that’s hard if we don’t know where they are.”

h/t: Global News

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