Probably no one on Wednesday morning in Aalborg, Denmark could have imagined how the day would turn out. The 31 people who found themselves forced to spend the night among the Billy bookcases, the Lack tables and the Malm beds of the Ikea store certainly could not have imagined it.
Towards evening, in fact, a violent snow storm completely paralyzed traffic in almost all of northern Jutland, 30 cm of snow in a few hours, many roads were closed, many cars remained blocked. The police asked everyone not to go out, also because the temperature dropped below zero and transformed the road surfaces into skating rinks.
Given the situation, the furniture department which remained practically isolated offered the six customers who had delayed for purchases, and the twenty-five employees present, the opportunity to spend the night where they were.
«We should have closed at 20 – said Peter Elmose, manager of the store – but we realized that we could not send out and turn off the lights. It was absolutely not possible. So we decided that whoever was there could stay inside the department store for the night, finding accommodation for everyone ».
And so it was, and those trapped between the comfortable Ikea atmospheres didn’t even have a bad time: the staff activated, cakes, cinnamon cakes, coffee, hot chocolate, soft drinks and beer were served in the canteen. Then all together in armchairs to watch a traditional Christmas program on television, and a football match.
In compliance with the anti Covid spacing rules, the six customers were then accommodated on the beds “they had always wanted to sleep on”, or on the sofas and sofa beds in the living room, having the opportunity to choose the one they preferred, while the staff of the shop spent the night in other parts of the large show room.
“The most important thing was to take care of each other and that everyone could feel safe,” added the director who has worked for Ikea for 16 years and had never been in such a situation before. Meanwhile, 300 people had to spend the night in the terminal at Aalborg airport, after all flights were canceled.