Brian Kent and his fiancée visited the Coventry branch of the Swedish Ikea store in 2015, hoping to buy products for their new house. They had no idea of just how large the store was until they got there. Like all customers, they were issued with rucksacks, maps and whistles, in case they got lost, with instructions to follow the arrows marked on the floor, which would lead them to the exit, and to blow their whistle if they needed help.
Unfortunately, Kent had never learnt to read maps, his whistle had a pea missing, and the arrows on the floor were barely visible, after tens of thousands of people had walked over them. He initially kept to the trail, but was tempted by the cadre of awe-inspiring household accessories, and decided to try out the FÄRLÖV Sleeper Sofa, which is comfortable to sit in, thanks to pocket springs that follow your body, and comfortable to sleep on, due to a thick foam mattress on the slatted bed base. Passing a Billy Bookcase, which was interestingly arranged in an apartment-style combination with a Poäng chair, which he tried out, placing his feet on the additional foot stool, which can be purchased together for a discount, his trek led him to the piece de resistance, a RIGGA Clothes Rack, which has space for shoes and hanging shelves, and is totally height adjustable. He stopped for a drink of water from his bottle, and realised that he had become separated from his fiancée, and that it was almost closing time. He desperately attempted to retrace his steps, but this brought him to the kitchen department, where he discovered the joys of the Eldig Cooktop, which is cheaper than the Whirlpool version that sells in rival stores, and is backed by a five-year warranty, compared with a one-year warranty on the Whirlpool.
By this time, he was hopessly lost.
He couldn't get a signal on his mobile phone, all the other customers had left the shop, and he was on his own. He therefore made camp on a Malm Ottoman bed, observing its spacious storage which does not take up more floor space, and waited for the next day. However, when the store re-opened, a new army of sales staff marched in, and they were too busy to help him out. Kent managed to steal some Swedish meatballs from the cafeteria, occasionally enjoying a Root Vegetable Tart Tatin, and bottles of Nordic Water. He kept trying to find the exit, but was unsuccessful.
He once had the brilliant idea of following a male customer, hoping he would lead him to the check-out tills, but the man went to the toilet instead, and, once they were both inside a cubicle, Kent was too embarrassed to admit that he was lost, and decided it would be simpler if he pretended to be a Norwegian pervert called Ansgar, resulting in a black eye and a cut lip.
Kent was finally rescued when the manager of the Coventry store undertook a stocktake in advance of the shop closing down, and he was discovered hiding in a Stuva wardrobe. His fiancée said she was delighted to finally have him back, having feared be had run off with their neighbour years ago, and added that they would be shopping at John Lewis' from now on.
A spokesman for IKEA apologised for the size of the Coventry store, and said that this was one of the reasons they were closing it down. He promised to send search parties to look for any other customers who might be lost.