Snowstorm Traps People Inside IKEA Overnight

Which major department store would you want to be stranded in?

Getting stuck overnight in a giant department store during the holiday season sounds like many people’s worst nightmare. But when that exact scenario happened recently to 31 people in Denmark, they were saved from a long, uncomfortable night by one simple fact: They were in an IKEA.

“We slept in the furniture exhibitions and our showroom on the first floor, where we have beds, mattresses and sofa beds,” store manager Peter Elmose told the Ekstra Bladet tabloid. “There was plenty of space and people could pick the exact bed they always have wanted to try.”

Up to 12 inches of snow fell that night in Aalborg, Denmark, forcing six customers and 25 IKEA employees to spend the night in the store showroom.

IKEA’s full cafeteria and abundance of furniture options made the overnight stay a pleasant one, with those trapped sharing food, playing cards and watching a soccer match between Liverpool and Everton on a projector before going to bed. Three workers from a nearby toy store joined them, looking for warmth and shelter.

“It’s much better than sleeping in one’s car,”  Michelle Barrett, a toy shop staffer, told DR, Denmark’s public broadcasting outlet. “It has been nice and warm and we are just happy that they would let us in.”

In the morning, once the storm let up and travel was safe, Elmose sent everyone on their way with a free pillow as a souvenir from their experience.

“In the morning, of course, we changed the bed linen and bedspreads, and it was ready for customers at 10 o’clock,” Elmose told Insider. 

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