As It Happens

Ikea bans hide-and-seek in their stores for safety reasons

Ikea is putting a stop to mass games of hide-and-seek in their stores after an event last July inspired thousands of wannabe players to host their own events.
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      Ikea is putting a stop to mass games of hide-and-seek in their stores after an event last July inspired thousands of wannabe players to host their own events.

      Belgium's Elise  De Rijck first came up with the idea to hold a big game of hide-and-seek at Ikea last year as part of a list of 30 things she wanted to do before she turns 30. 

      I think they think if we do it once again, where is it going to stop?- Elise  De Rijck

      Eventually her plan made its way to the furniture retail giant, and they allowed her to do the event at one of their stores in Belgium.

      "It was fun but exhausting,"  De Rijck tells As It Happens host Carol Off. She estimates that nearly 1,000 people attended the event.

      "We played seven games that day so I had seven different hiding spots," she says.

      She hid in closets, under beds, in boxes and in a freezer. "Luckily, it was not on,"  De Rijck says. "Freezers were popular that day." 

      Ever since the success of De Rijck’s game, more than 32,000 people have joined Facebook groups for similar hide-and-seek games across Europe -- these ones not sanctioned by Ikea.

      But now the company says it won’t allow the games to take place at their stores, citing safety concerns.

      Asked whether she thinks Ikea will relent on their new policy, de Rijck says, "I hope it for all the other people, but I think chances are small...I think they think if we do it once again, where is it going to stop?"

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