THE HAGUE, Netherlands - Ikea has a message for people wanting to converge on its stores for giant games of hide and seek: Go play someplace else.
The phenomenon has taken off online in the Netherlands where a whopping 19,000 people signed up to a Facebook group promoting a game at Ikea's Amsterdam branch next month. Another 13,000 signed up for a game in the Ikea store in the city of Utrecht.
But the Swedish retail giant has bad news for folks wanting to hide among its room-like furniture displays: The numbers signing up are getting out of hand and the events have been blocked.
"We have contacted these pages on social media and humbly asked them to have their hide and seek games somewhere else," Ikea spokeswoman Martina Smedberg in Sweden said Tuesday.
Ikea doesn't want to be a spoilsport, but safety comes first.
"In general we are happy that our customers are playful and want to have fun together with friends and family," Smedberg said. "But unfortunately this hide and seek phenomenon has reached proportions where we can no longer guarantee the security of those who are playing or our customers and employees."
Associated Press writer Karl Ritter in Stockholm, Sweden, contributed to this report.