Ooops! Ikea apologizes after leaving New Zealand off map

Swedish flatpack furniture giant Ikea has apologized after leaving New Zealand off a map sold in its stores, an omission that came less than a month after it announced plans to launch in the country.

Ooops! Ikea apologizes after leaving New Zealand off map
The offending map is still featured on Ikea's website. Photo: Ikea
“Ikea is responsible for securing correct and compliant motifs on all our products. We can see that the process has failed regarding the product Björksta world map,” a spokesman told the BBC. “We regret this mistake and apologize. We will take the necessary actions and the product is now being phased out from our stores.”
The offending map is still, however, featured on the company's website
The company’s embarrassing omission was first pointed out on the MapsWithoutNZ forum on the internet site Reddit, where users post examples of mapmakers overlooking the island nation. 
“Ikea's map game is not on point,” Reddit user Jibbles66 wrote posting a photo of the Björksta world map, which has nothing but empty ocean southeast of Australia. 
“Wonder if they’re going to sell these maps in the new Auckland store,” Jeremy Kitchen, another user added, picking up on the company's announcement last month that it would open in the country “in a couple of years”. 
The failure to include the country on maps has become a running joke in New Zealand, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern last year launching the #GetNZonthemap video with the comedian Rhys Darby. 
New Zealanders flocked to social media to express their outrage.  
Australians, meanwhile, jumped at the opportunity to have a dig at their smaller neighbour. 
Others raised the possibility that Ikea might be correct, in a repeat of the Finland Conspiracy internet meme, where users concoct arguments to support the theory that Finland does not in fact exist. 

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Danish Ikea store shelters staff and customers overnight during snowstorm

Heavy snowfall left 31 people looking for a spare cushion at the Aalborg branch of Ikea on Wednesday as they were forced to spend the night at the store.

A file photo at Ikea in Aalborg, where 31 people stayed overnight during a snowstorm on December 1st 2021.
A file photo at Ikea in Aalborg, where 31 people stayed overnight during a snowstorm on December 1st 2021. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Anyone who has found themselves wandering the mazy aisles of an Ikea might be able to empathise with the sense of being lost in the furniture store for a seemingly indefinite time.

Such a feeling was probably more real than usual for six customers and 25 staff members who were forced to spend the night at the furniture giant’s Aalborg branch after being snowed in.

Heavy snow in North Jutland brought traffic to a standstill and halted public transport in parts of the region on Wednesday afternoon, resulting in a snow-in at Ikea.

“This is certainly a new situation for us,” Ikea Aalborg store manager Peter Elmose told local media Nordjyske, which first reported the story.

“It’s certainly not how I thought my day would end when I drove to work this morning,” Elmose added.

The 31 people gathered in the store’s restaurant area and planned to see Christmas television and football to pass the evening, the store’s manager reported to Nordjyske.

“Our kitchen staff have made sure there is hot chocolate, risalamande, pastries, soft drinks, coffee and the odd beer for us in light of the occasion. So we’ll be able to keep warm,” he said.

“We couldn’t just send them outside and lock the door behind them at our 8pm closing time. Absolutely not. So of course they’ll be staying here,” he added.

The temporary guests were given lodging in different departments of the store in view of the Covid-19 situation, Nordjyske writes.

“For us , the most important thing was to take care of each other and that everyone feels safe,” Elmose said.

At least Ikea’s stranded customers and staff had somewhere comfortable to lay their heads.

The same can unlikely be said for around 300 passengers at the city’s airport who had to stay overnight at the terminal.

The airport was forced to stop flights from 2:30pm yesterday amid worsening weather, which also prevented buses from transferring passengers to hotels.

“We have around 300 people in the terminal right now and have been giving out blankets on the assumption they will be staying here tonight,” Aalborg Airport operations manager Kim Bermann told Nordjyske.

READ ALSO: Ikea reopens in Denmark after country’s worst retail month this century