Amid a protracted spell of record-breaking hot weather, K-Supermarket in Helsinki's Pohjois-Haaga neighborhood has invited customers for a comfortable sleepover to the hum of the powerful refrigerators, Finnish national broadcaster Yle reported.
Shopkeeper Marika Lindfors admitted that the idea was sparked by customers' jokes.
"Customers have blurted out half-seriously how nice it would be to be able to sleep in our cool store. We've always strived to respond to customer feedback," Lindfors said.
While the Facebook post announcing the unusual event, which has been given the green light by both the authorities and the food safety regulator Evira, was "liked" and shared thousands of times, the sleepover had to be limited to 100 guests. Although items like fresh produce were removed, other products remained on the shelves during the event. At 7:30 in the morning the lights were lit and breakfast was served in the form of croissants and coffee.
Kun helteestä uuvahtaneet asiakkaat vitsailivat, että olisi kiva päästä viileään kauppaan nukkumaan, K-Supermarket Pohjois-Haagan kauppias Marika Lindfors tarttui tuumasta toimeen. #pienisuuriteko #helle 🌞🛌💤 pic.twitter.com/U2LNsYdLYe— K-ryhmä (@kryhma) August 5, 2018
Patricia, one of the guests, hailed the historic event as "next to being on vacation." By her own admission, the heat has been very strenuous, especially for people with heart conditions like herself. She also said that sleeping on the store floor was both annoying and funny. "The children did not fall sleep until three o'clock, they were so excited," she said.
Local woman Merja Eklund was also cheerful over the initiative she hailed as both a unique occurrence and a welcome respite from the heat.
"It's been very nice to avoid the heat, and it's also a historic event that's fun to be part of," Eklund said.
Shop owner Marika Lindfors was also pleased with the overnight stay.
"It has gone better than well. We were prepared for all kinds of emergencies but the people seemed to have enjoyed themselves thoroughly. It's certainly quite a different experience for people," Lindfors said.
Although the store chain received a lot of publicity, including on the international level, Lindfors denied that it was purely a marketing stunt.
"No, really, it probably was mostly thought of as a local initiative. The store manager and I actually thought it would be only two of us here," Lindfors said.
The month of July in Finland saw the highest-ever temperatures recorded by the Finnish Meteorological Institute, founded in 1838.
The officials warned of the health risks associated with temperatures not commonly seen in the nation. According to previous studies, on particularly hot days mortality rates among people aged 75 and over can shoot up more than 20 percent.
The intense heat spell resulted, among other things, in reindeer flocking to townships in search of a respite from the scorching temperatures.