Ikea says illegal teenage sleepovers must end

image copyrightReuters
image captionA new craze has seen teenagers trying to spend the night illegally in Ikea

Ikea is urging teenagers to stop creeping into its stores and having illegal sleepovers.

About 10 "non-sponsored sleepovers" have been logged across the world by the Swedish furniture giant this year.

In the past, people have hidden themselves in stores in the US, Canada, UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Japan, Australia and Poland.

Most recently, two 14-year-old girls were caught after spending the night at the branch in Jonkoping in Sweden.

The craze appears to have been started by two Belgian YouTubers in August.

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Their video, which has had 1.7 million views, documents their exploits - including jumping on beds - after they hid in a wardrobe for three hours to avoid detection.

Unlike the 14-year-old girls, however, they were not caught and walked out after spending another few hours in the wardrobes waiting for the store to open.

Ikea has decided not to formally charge the Jonkoping teenagers because of their young age, but two girls who were caught in Malmo, Sweden, in October were not so lucky.

image copyrightReuters
image captionIkea owns and operates nearly 400 stores in almost 50 nations

According to Sydsvenskan, the 15-year-olds had been too scared of setting off the alarm to leave the cupboards they were hiding in, and were reported to police for trespassing when they were discovered in the morning.

An Ikea UK spokesperson told the BBC: "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 and that's why we do not allow sleepovers in our stores."

A Swedish spokesman added: "Maybe needless to say that the fun in it is overrated. A long night of sitting still, only to then risk getting into trouble with the law."

Ikea owns and operates nearly 400 stores in almost 50 nations.

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