Ikea’s fans must be a disappointed lot after the Swedish furniture giant put a stop to the proposed Hide and Seek games that Ikea’s fans and customers alike were planning to play in Ikea’s maze like stores. Ikea, at some of its stores in the Netherlands had permitted customers and fans to play a game of Hide and Seek. This practice started since last July when an Ikea store in Belgium had allowed a 29 year old woman, Elise De Rijck, to play Hide and Seek. She wanted to play as part of the 30 things she had planned to do before turning 30.
That event from last year, spurred more visitors towards eking out a game of Hide and Seek at Ikea’s gigantic maze like stores that allowed a lot of scope for hiding amidst the numerous furniture sets available on its floor. De Rijck said that encouraging a game of Hide and Seek allowed people to engage in childish activities and let themselves loose for a while.
However, the Ikea Group spokeswoman Ms. Martina Smedberg is reported to have expressed safety and security concerns and issues at this phenomena that was inviting a burgeoning number of visitors to its stores. Ms. Smedberg said to Bloomberg,”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.”
Ms. Smedberg also mentioned that various social pages of the furniture giant have been updated with the latest corporate ban on playing of Hide and Seek at its stores, ‘humbly’ informing its supporters, fans and customers alike of this move.
Ikea’s move has disappointed the game’s organizers who are now looking for other venues where they planned initiatives could take place. After Ikea’s last year move to allow De Rijck to play in its stores, this year had attracted nearly 63000 people at just three of its stores in the Netherlands. Around 32,000 had registered at its Eindhoven store, while 19,000 and 12,000 people had registered for the game at its Amsterdam and Utrecht stores.
Ikea’s move to completely ban the game may be considered regressive, especially when current marketing wisdom dictates companies to generate as much publicity through organic social networks as is possible. Instead of an outright ban, Ikea could have looked at regulating the flow and timings of the games at its stores.
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