CUSTOMERS have been stranded in the car park of IKEA for the second time in a week after the store was evacuated this afternoon.

Customers have reported being trapped in the car park after the store was evacuated at around 1pm. 

Early reports suggested the store had been evacuated due to a fire, but the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) confirmed that it had not been called out.

On Bank Holiday Monday (April 2), shoppers were stuck in the store's car park for more than two hours.

It came after the store closed one level of the 1000-space car park and asked customers to travel by public transport until April 30, and offering free delivery on orders over £150. 

Jenny Courtenay-Hall shared a photo on Twitter from the top level of the store's car park, saying that no-one could leave.

She tweeted: "IKEA Reading has been evacuated at 13:00 on a Sunday & no one can leave the car park. We've not moved for 45 minutes & we're on the top floor. Hundreds of people trapped in the car park of a building that's just been evacuated!"

Customer Shannon Nicley tweeted a photo from outside the store shortly before 2.30pm of people waiting to get back inside.

And Twitter user @niallo_ tweeted this picture of customers waiting outside in the rain.

A spokesperson for IKEA confirmed in a statement the store had been evacuated due to a technical issue.

The statement said: "The safety of our customers and co-workers is always the highest priority for IKEA. We can confirm that the IKEA Reading store was evacuated today, Sunday 8th April 2018 due to a technical issue.

"All staff and customers were safely evacuated and were allowed to return to the store within 60 minutes, once all safety checks had been completed.

"We would like to thank our customers for their co-operation and apologise for any inconvenience caused."