No more hide-and-seek in Dutch Ikea!

Ikea have ‘stopped plans’ for a mass game of hide-and-seek in its Eindhoven store.  Let’s just pause there for a second and read that one more time. Ikea have ‘stopped plans’ for a mass game of hide-and-seek.


It has been reported that on Facebook some 32,000 people have signed up for the game in Eindhoven, 19,000 registered an interest playing the game in store in Amsterdam and around 12,000 people want to play in Utrecht. Are you surprised? The Dutch are always up for a laugh, life is boring enough to shop without trying to fit yourself into that wardrobe right?


The idea came about after a woman was granted permission to play with 500 of her friends in Antwerp for her birthday as part of a ‘Things to do before you’re 30’. I think it is kind of sweet that the store let her do it, but how did they not think it would catch on? The Dutch are playful as it is; of course they are up for this, who wouldn’t be! A spokes woman for the chain gave the most incredibly funny quote ‘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.’ Martina Smedberg told Bloomberg. If they don’t know where people can hide whoever is seeking the hiders has a tough job. It is like health and safety laws gone mad. I have always wondered just how they ensure everyone is out at closing time. Maybe the only answer to this is having a 24hr store. Most of our supermarkets in England are 24hr now we’ve had them since Tesco opened its first one in 1996! It’s a good job they have those hotdogs for sustenance, if you can never leave at least you’ll get fed and you are almost guaranteed a good nights sleep.


Help! I’ve lost Grandma!

IMG_4714Ikea has been going for a long time now and I defy anyone to say that don’t own something from the brand. Their storage ideas are exceptional and their stores are inspirational to anyone planning a spring clean or redecorating any room in the house, also their prices are generally rather reasonable too. The stores have always been a maze. I heard once that they were designed that way to make it hard for shoppers to leave, forcing them to look around for longer and ultimately spend more money. Isn’t that classed as a forced game of hide-and-seek in itself? I have gone to Ikea lots of times and I always end up loosing whomever I go with. The phone signal is normally pretty shocking too so there’s no point even trying to use the ‘Find My Friends’ app! My Dad is quite possibly still wandering around the mock up kitchens and my Mom will be somewhere in amongst the soft furnishings I can guarantee it.



I quite like the idea of a giant game of hide-and-seek, where better to do it than in the ant farm that is Ikea? (Let’s not mention the arrows that seem to point you back to where you just came from in some giant circle!) There are so many cupboards and bathtubs to hide in! Half of the fun in visiting is testing out the comfort of their beds, yes try those duvets out too, and how do you know if their garden hammocks are easy it is to use if you don’t get in them? The fact that it was publicized on Facebook doesn’t surprise me since half of the Dutch population has a Facebook account that is obviously the catalyst for the growing interest.

IMG_4719I do have a few logistical queries with this game though, who chooses the seekers from the hiders? Who wins? Is it the one who hides the longest? How would you know? How long can one man hide in a wardrobe? There are many issues with this game. I think that is the real reason why the game has been pulled. I bet the staff play it all the time! It would be and awesome team building exercise after those laborious staff meetings.


You can ‘seek’ only if you ‘hide’ accidentally

The truth of the matter is this, if you shop in Ikea there will be some element of hide-and-seek either intentionally or not. I can see the point being made by Ikea, I guess the thought of 30,000+ people hiding in and around your store is quite intimidating however it would make an amazing TV advert (something else the bookcase makers are very good at). Ultimately this story has done what was intended. It got us talking. It raised the profile of Ikea, it has appealed to everyone’s inner child and most importantly it has reminded people about the store and all of its unique furniture ideas just ahead of the big ‘spring clean’ we all make a start on this time of the year.


I’ll still shop in Ikea, I will pretend to be having a shower in their mock up bathrooms and I will consider the viability of fitting my grandmother into the chest freezer, the key is just not advertising it on Facebook! I do wonder if this will become a thing here in the UK. I’ve got a feeling that the Dutch are just more into letting their guard down and having a little fun more so than the English. I will be on the look out during my next visit in store!

Here is a hilarious video from the guys at BuzzFeed that I defy you not to see some connection with!

Thoughts Everyone Has At Ikea!

Maria Smith
Maria Smith
Born and raised in England Maria is a Dutch obsessive. Not just in love with the windmills and tulips her passion for all things Orange has spanned over 10 years. Proud feminist and campaigner, Maria works in UK politics whilst dreaming about eventually moving to the Netherlands.



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