IKEA Shoppers Trapped For Hours While Competing For Single Parking Garage Exit

Image courtesy of Håkan Dahlström

What happens when you pack a bunch of people into a space and then only leave them with one way to exit? You get a big ol’ logjam, the kind that trapped many shoppers at a new IKEA location in the UK for hours while they waited to use the parking garage’s one and only exit.

The new IKEA store in Reading, England just opened on July 14, and it’s safe to say the location was pretty popular over the weekend: according to some shoppers’ reports on Sunday, the 1,000-car parking garage’s single exit ramp caused “traffic chaos,” leaving some folks stranded for hours queued up to get out, The Mirror reports.

One couple left the store at 1:15 p.m. and found total gridlock in the parking garage. So they left to grab a bite to eat nearby, and came back an hour later, only to find the car they’d seen lining up earlier had barely moved.

“It just wasn’t moving in the car park, we got back to the car and the car in front had moved about 20 feet,” the man told the Mirror. They didn’t leave their parking spot until after 4 p.m., and finally left the garage just before 5, he said.

IKEA staff were around, but didn’t seem to be helping much, the shopper said, though they did walk around offering drinks to those trapped in their cars.

Another shopper complained on Twitter that she’d been stuck for almost four hours.

A spokeswoman for IKEA confirmed that the parking garage at the store closed “for a short period this afternoon to allow customers to exit the store,” and said at the time that they were “working to keep traffic moving as quickly as possible.”

IKEA shoppers trapped in car park for FOUR hours as hundreds try to squeeze through one exit [The Mirror]

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