Everyone should experience shopping at Ikea in China. They have all the same merchandise that you see in the US but the customer interaction is so different. While the store is packed, the checkout is relatively empty. There is a whole lot of looking going on but not a lot of buying. In fact, you see people all over the store taking pictures in the various staged rooms. I’m told by locals that people then post these pictures to social media and say that these are pictures from their own home and not the Ikea showroom. What a great idea–no need to buy at all!
In fact, many people go to Ikea to nap in the comfortable beds made up for display. I doubted that this really happened, but needless to say, I was wrong as usual–there was a whole lot of napping going on! I’ve gone to lots of Ikeas and never seen beds so messy from all the napping traffic. You have to wonder how often they are changing those display sheets. Yikes and ughhh!
The most popular part of the store, though, is the Ikea cafeteria. Offering relatively inexpensive mystery meatballs and other exotic fare, there hasn’t been an empty table the few times I’ve visited. Noshing on all kinds of treats, customers are definitely loving Ikea cuisine. Hopefully Ikea’s markup on food is making up for their lack of furniture sales. Just remember, next time you are feeling sleepy, swing by Ikea for a nap…join the crowd!