Viral 24-hour ‘Fort Challenge’ prompts warning from IKEA

A Belgian participant tries out an IKEA bed in the middle of the night.

A Belgian participant tries out an IKEA bed in the middle of the night. Photo: YouTube

The latest viral internet ‘challenge’ is proving a headache for furniture store IKEA.

The bizarre 24 Hour Fort Challenge requires participants to hide overnight in large stores, creating forts out of boxes and other items, before sneaking out the next morning.

And in the spirit of Millennial challenges, the feat must of course be filmed.

But IKEA, the Swedish behemoth famed for retail efficiency, unsurprisingly does not want customers having furniture slumber parties.


One user created a fort out of boxes of Hershey’s chocolates in Costco. Photo: YouTube

According to reports, the company has recorded incidents of customers trying to hide out in stores in Australia, United States, Canada, Britain, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Japan and Poland.

But those who have successfully completed the challenge have warned there are better places to spend a night.

‘Idiot’ origins

The curious challenge has been traced back to August 2016, when two Belgian pranksters documented their overnight stay in an IKEA store.

The teenagers stocked up on energy drinks, tested out various beds and rated the store’s furniture for comfort.

The pair’s video – titled “Two idiots at night in IKEA” – racked up over two million views on YouTube – inspiring a raft of copycats.

See the original 24 Hour Fort Challenge:

In the UK, the challenge has expanded to include various large-scale retailers such as Toys ‘R’ Us and Costco.

Popular YouTube account ‘Meet the Vloggers’ posted their horror night inside a Toys ‘R’ Us store, which involved sore backs and lots of regret.

“Guys please nobody try this at home,” Kel Swann implores viewers.

“I’ve been in this same position for the last few hours. I feel like I’ve got something wrong with my back.”

Watch ‘Meet the Vloggers’ attempt the challenge:

Jumping on the front foot, IKEA has warned customers they face more than a sore back if they attempt the challenge.

“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 spokeswoman for IKEA in Canada told Global News.

A separate spokeswoman told Associated Press the potentially minor amount of fun involved in the challenge would be offset by “getting into trouble with the law”.

During a recent incident, two 14-year-old girls were discovered after having spent the night in an IKEA store in the Swedish city of Jönköping.

A spokesperson for the company told Swedish newspaper Local they decided not to press charges because of the girls’ young age.

Company to pay $69 million for killer dressers

Meanwhile, the Swedish furniture giant has reportedly agreed to pay $69 million to three families of children killed by its faulty dressers.

The Malm chest was recalled after it was discovered it easily tipped forwards, but not before it caused a total of six deaths.

deaths ikea dressers

US toddlers Camden Ellis, Curren Collas and Theodore “Ted” McGee were all killed.

Lawyers for the families claimed IKEA had also agreed to donate money to children’s charities in the settlement, reported the ABC.

In Australia, customers who had misplaced the restraints fastening the piece to the wall were offered free replacements.

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