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Ikea is right to deny non-paying customers access to restaurant

China Daily | Updated: 2016-10-17 08:18

A RESTAURANT in a Shanghai store of the Swedish furniture giant Ikea is now off-limits to those who don't buy food. commented on Saturday:

The move by the Ikea store is in fact an overdue response to some elderly Shanghai residents who use the restaurant to socialize every Tuesday and Thursday without buying anything. Their numbers sometimes exceed the 700-seat capacity of the restaurant and they bring their own food and spend the whole day in the restaurant.

They are not the only problem for Ikea in China. People can often be seen lying on the beds and sofas, making themselves at home. Some even fall sleep with their shoes on.

To expand in the Chinese market, the Swedish furniture giant has made extra efforts to design its shopping malls and products to accommodate Chinese customers. For instance, they are allowed a free coffee if they have Ikea membership, which can be easily obtained with just a few clicks on the registration machines.

To some extent, Ikea's desire to create a customer-friendly shopping environment has backfired. Most Ikea stores now swarm with rude, loud people who care little about public decency. In comparison, domestic furniture furnishing stores seem to be less accommodating, as they would not allow customers to actually sleep in a sample bed or sit in a restaurant without buying anything.

That explains why the Shanghai Ikea store issued the instruction aimed at getting rid of non-paying visitors, after hearing complaints from paying customers. Of course, whether or not the new rule will work remains to be seen. Meanwhile the demand of a place for elderly people to gather is surely a business opportunity for someone.


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