updated 7/28/2007 4:53:51 PM ET 2007-07-28T20:53:51

Home furnishing company IKEA offered customers a full shop-till-you-drop experience this week — letting them spend the night at a Norway store.

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Hundreds of applications came from people wanting to stay at the IKEA Furuset “hostel” near Oslo, Frode Ullebust, a spokesman for the Swedish company, said Friday.

Shoppers from all over the world came to the warehouse during the week, slumping into one of 30 free beds and trying meatballs and salmon on offer at the bedroom section and canteen.

In addition to a dormitory, the hostel was equipped with a bridal suite, a luxury suite, as well as family and tourist rooms, Ullebust said.

The idea for the hostel experiment, which ended Friday, came from customers themselves, said IKEA spokesman Christen Roehnedak.

“But they haven’t been able to sleep much,” Roehnedak said, noting a majority of the guests stayed awake to watch the night workers refill the shelves, while others did some midnight shopping.

Check-in for the hostel began at 10 p.m., while check-out was at 11 a.m. — one hour after the store opened. “So you’ve had to be prepared to be woken up by other shoppers,” Roehnedak said.

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