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Shop till you drop at Ikea - then stay the night

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Shop till you drop at Ikea - then stay the night
07:51 CEST+02:00
No longer content to offer consumers Swedish meatballs and self-assembly shelves, Ikea in Norway is now offering weary shoppers the chance to sleep over in one of its Oslo showrooms free of charge.

From July 23 to July 27, the public will be able to spend the night in special rooms set up in the store, with a choice of bridal suite, complete with hanging chandelier and a round bed, or a luxury suite that includes breakfast in bed.

Others can share a bunk in the dormitory, while parents and children can join in the fun in one of Ikea's family rooms.

"It will be like an alternative hostel," company spokesman Frode Ullebust told AFP, adding that, as far as he knew, this was the first time Ikea has ever done this anywhere in the world.

Although many shoppers may associate Ikea with hellish Saturday expeditions with yelling children and never-ending queues, in Norway it seems a trip to Ikea is a fun day out.

"Around 900,000 visitors come to visit Ikea during the summer holidays.

That's more than one of the biggest attractions in Norway, the Holmenkollen ski jump, attracts in one year," claimed Ullebust.

Norway has a population of 4.7 million.

All five of Ikea Norway's warehouses are situated in the south of the country.

"We found that people from the north of Norway include a visit to Ikea as part of their holidays," Ullebest said.

On the big night, guests at what is being called the Ikea Hostel can check in from 10:00 pm, an hour before the warehouse closes, but will need to get up early in the morning.

"The shop opens at 10:00 am so if they are lazy, people might get woken up by shoppers testing out their mattresses," said Ullebust.

And as an added freebie, customers will also be able to take their bedsheets home afterwards. "It's a nice souvenir," he added.

"We will also give them bathrobes with the Ikea Hostel logo on it, and some slippers, so they won't get cold at night," he said.

A private tour of the inner workings of the warehouse is included too.

"Customers will enjoy Ikea by night," said Ullebust.

Ikea fans have until July 18 to apply for their exclusive Ikea stay. They must fill in a form and answer the question "Why do you want to sleep at Ikea?" - a question exhausted weekend shoppers may wonder themselves.

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