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 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
AirAsia QZ8501: Black box reveals warning alarms 'screamed' before crash, as more bodies recovered from near fuselage of jet
Rob Lowe hits out at White House decision not to meet Israeli leader
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...