We certainly are fans of IKEA around here. Affordably priced Swedish furniture is practically our love language, and bargain meatballs aren't anything to sneeze at, either. But we draw the line at, you know, sneaking in and spending the night inside a dresser, which is what teens are now doing to gain YouTube fame.
Mashable reported this week that an 11 year old boy in the UK didn't make it home from school, triggering a frantic police search for him. But he reappeared the next day, having never been kidnapped or hurt; instead, he had spent the night inside a MALM dresser at IKEA.
According to his father, the boy got the idea from a viral YouTube trend called the "24 hour challenge", where teens are spending the night inside businesses and uploading videos as proof.
According to Vice, the trend started in 2016, when two Belgian teens spent the night in a closet at IKEA, and the trend has since expanded with videos of kids overnight in McDonald's play places, Chuck E. Cheeses, Walmarts, and water parks.
Sure, IKEA does a good job of making their stores a fun place to hang out and relax—but maybe a bit too much. The retailer has had to crack down on in-store hide and seek games in the Netherlands and shoppers taking naps in China. IKEA does occasionally offer overnights in-store as a promotional event, but definitely not inside furniture.
"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 which is why we do not allow sleepovers in our stores," a spokesperson told the BBC after two 14 year old girls spent the night in a store in Sweden in 2016.
And there's more at risk than the possibility of getting charged with trespassing; a thread on Quora sites some other possible trouble a prankster could get into, including risks to their safety or the safety of others.
South Yorkshire police told Metro that "warehouses and shopping departments contain large quantities of heavy stock and items that could easily fall and crush someone if they are moved incorrectly."
Bored teens are going to get their kicks somehow, but maybe don't eat detergent, and maybe don't sleep in dressers.