IKEA has warned teenagers against staging illegal sleepovers after a viral video sparked an international trend.
A pair of Belgian mates kicked off the craze when they filmed their adventure inside the furniture store, hiding inside a wardrobe and waiting until staff left before emerging.
Their YouTube video, titled ‘Two idiots at night in Ikea’, showed Florian Van Hecke and Bram Geirnaert tucking into a dinner of meatballs and cranberry jam before hiding out and then letting loose inside the store, attracting more than 1.8 million views.
Now the retailer is cracking down, warning that kids who have illegal sleepovers in their stores are guilty of trespassing.
Ikea has recorded about 10 such incidents in the past year in the United States, Canada, Britain, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Japan, Australia and Poland, spokeswoman Johanna Iritz told Associated Press on Wednesday.
She said Ikea took the problem seriously as “we can’t guarantee safety”.
Mr Van Hecke, who goes by the online name Bakuna Fatata, explained the philosophy behind the challenge.
“My best friend and I love to push the limits. We do not accept status quo. Life is about building experiences and memories,” he wrote.
“Go out of your comfort zone. Seek for the moments when you feel most alive. There is a picture created by society that tells you how to live and what is the actual truth. I call them dogmas. The truth is what you create yourself … There is a quote that says: ‘Do not regret what you have done, regret what you have not done in your life’.
“Life is one big YouTube video. You should better make it interesting because when it comes to an end, you’ll never have a second chance.”
While the school mates were not caught during their sleepover, a pair of teenage girls from Malmo, Sweden was not so lucky.
The 15-year-olds were too nervous of setting off an alarm to emerge from their closet hiding places, and were discovered by staff who called the police.
A Ikea spokeswoman said that the company took trespassing seriously, telling Sydsvenskan that while they wanted their customers to sleep in Ikea beds, “we want them to do it at home”.
“We care about our customers’ safety and we cannot guarantee it when the store is closed,” she said.
Sleeping inside an Ikea store has long been a fascination of fans of the furniture store, which partnered with Airbnb in 2014 to offer three families the rare chance to stay the night at the store in Sydney’s Tempe.
In China, the retailer allows shoppers to nap on its sofas and beds during opening hours.
This article was originally published on news.com.au