If you’ve ever walked through an IKEA store thinking about how cool it would be if you could just lay down on one of them soft beds, cover yourself with a fluffy blankets and nap, then you need to move to China, because that’s what IKEA visitors do over there.
The Chinese simply love IKEA! Millions visit the company’s mainland stores every year, but only a few of them actually end up buying something, as many just come to enjoy the air-conditioning on a hot summer day and take a nap on the comfy furniture on display. “Some of them even come in once the store opens in the morning, and won’t leave until the store closes in the evening,” a security staff from the IKEA store in Shanghai told Morning Star, but although this sometimes bothers employees, the company hasn’t taken any measures against people making themselves a little too much at home, because it sees it as a future investment. They believe when these people have more consumption power they’ll come back and buy something, but until then they’re free to loiter around.
I see people laying in beds and sitting on sofas at my local IKEA all the time, but I have yet to see someone actually sleeping there. According to several reports, and photos, many Chinese people plan out day at IKEA. They drive to a store from miles away, eat, drink and nap in public, enjoying the cool air on a hot summer day. This kind of freeloading has been a part of IKEA’s business ever since the first store opened there over 10 years ago, but it has recently grabbed the media’s attention after photos recently taken by a blogger at a store in Nanjing recently went viral. “From age 0 to 80, each of them has fallen into a rapturous sleep! Even on those beds that are not occupied, sheets are in a mess after a havoc has been created,” the poster commented on China’s microblogging service, Sina Weibo. Another 5,000 commentators added their thoughts on the matter, with some saying ““At least those sleepers in your photos are decently dressed. Last Friday evening when I went to the Beijing IKEA store, a lot of male shoppers I saw were topless while sleeping.”, or ““A sweater-knitting auntie and a granny that likes doing embroidery are frequent visitors. Some even sit inside leisurely peeling edamame beans after their grocery shopping. Scenes inside Shanghai’s IKEA store make people speechless!”
Photo: 365 China Photo