Being a teenager is boring. You can't drink, you can't drive, and everyone assumes you're an idiot. Hence the millennia-old tradition of teenagers doing stupid things to amuse themselves. Now, a weird new trend is emerging in, where teenagers are regularly spending the night in IKEAs.
According to IKEA, they know of ten cases of teenagers sleeping in their stores this year. And IKEA isn't happy about it.
Two fourteen year old girls were recently caught after sleeping in a Jonkoping, Sweden IKEA store. The two of them somehow eluded the closing staff and slept in the store, and were caught the following morning.
"We appreciate that people are interested in Ikea," said an IKEA spokesperson. "And want to create fun experiences, however the safety and security of our co-workers and customers is our highest priority and that's why we do not allow sleepovers in our stores."
Yep, it absolutely has nothing to do with liability issues.
The new trend was launched by a pair of Belgian YouTubers in August. They released a video of them jumping on beds inside an IKEA that's up to about two million views.
IKEA has taken a tolerant tack in dealing with the unwanted sleepers-over, for the most part. The two girls who were caught most recently were booted from the store without police involvement. But a couple of fifteen year olds were reported to the cops in October.
Ikea's Swedish press officer, Jakob Holstrom, said, "We hope that this trend will slow. We do not see what it is that is fun with what they do."
You really don't? Or are you just saying that? Because having free reign in an IKEA at night sounds fun as hell.
"We have done previously and we'd be open to the idea if it was done in a controlled and organised way, however we have no plans to hold such an activity anytime soon," says IKEA. "At the moment we wouldn't consider planning but we will keep it in mind should an opportunity present itself in the future."
We'll see if the IKEA sleepover thing keeps growing in popularity. You have to admit that it would make a great documentary. And there have certainly been much dumber and less interesting delinquency trends. Barring some Paul Blart taking their IKEA security job too seriously and roughing someone up, or being slammed with trespassing charges, this actually seems like a fairly innocuous thing. But maybe we're wrong.