Postcard from... Beijing
On a recent mideek visit to Ikea’s flagship shop in Beijing, dozens of people were fast asleep in the beds and couches on display. And it gets even worse at the weekends.
It may be sticky outside in the August heat but it is cool inside in the air-conditioned store, so people are taking the opportunity to catch up on some sleep.
One man is dozing diagonally across a double bed; in another, a mother has put her sleeping child in a pushchair and got under the covers herself. Another man is curled up in a child’s bed, perhaps reliving some childhood experience. On a red couch, two women sleep leaning into each other. One woman has taken off her jacket and is fast asleep in a couch, while a girl in a black singlet wakes, rubs her eyes, and starts texting.
There is nothing sleepy about Ikea’s business in China. The cafeteria is packed with people queuing up for meatballs or Chinese gongbao chicken.
The Swedish company is aiming to open at least three shops every year in China, which it expects to be its biggest market within two decades. It has been in China for 15 years and has 12 shops in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Nanjing, Dalian, Shenyang, Tianjin and Wuxi. It is now China’s biggest foreign commercial property owner.
Ikea had revenues of six billion yuan (£630bn) in China last year and its shops welcomed more than 15 million visitors – 7.3 million came to the Beijing flagship store. On a normal day, the 42,000 square metre store gets 28,000 visitors. Not all of them come to sleep, clearly.
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
- 4 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
Spain accused of 'provocation' after letting Russian submarine refuel off Gibraltar
Allonautilus scrobiculatus: World's 'rarest' creature spotted for only the third time ever
Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...