An IKEA store in Shanghai, China claims it has been forced to enforce special rules in order to keep elderly freeloaders from virtually taking over the place for hours at a time and engaging in blind dating sessions.
IKEA is very popular in China. Some people love the furniture mega-stores so much that they spend whole days in them without buying a single item. A few years ago we reported on a bizarre trend that involved people simply coming to IKEA and sleeping on the comfortable beds and sofas on display for hours, or just walking around and enjoying the free air conditioning. This kind of thing has been going on in China for the past 15 years, since the chain arrived in the Asian country, and it’s still very popular today. But it’s apparently not the only problem the Swedish retailer has been facing. Recently, an IKEA store in Shanghai has been dealing with a large group of elderly people that frequently spends hours in its popular cafe without buying anything.
Chinese media reports that dozens sometimes hundreds of elderly men and women meet up at the IKEA cafe in Shanghai every week, for long blind-dating sessions. They stay there for hours without buying any foods or drinks, and act like they own the place. According to a notice board put up by the Shanghai store, the group has been seriously affecting the cafe’s operations with their “uncivilized behavior”. Among the cited offences, the notice mentions “taking up seats for long hours, bringing outside food and tea, speaking loudly, spitting, and having quarrels and fights.”