Our revels now are ended: customers in Beijing’s Ikea fall fast asleep in store

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  • As pictures of numerous slumbering shoppers emerge, we take a look at what makes Ikea’s room displays a top spot for a bit of shut-eye

    If you’ve ever bought a new sofa or bed, you’ve probably sat on it, lay on it or even bounced up and down on it a few times – just to check that it’s comfy.

    But in China, customers aren’t necessarily testing out new mattresses when they curl up in a display. They’re hoping to grab a lovely snooze.

    It isn’t unknown for members of the public to turn up in the morning, bag the best spot available, then stay there until closing time. And those who aren’t sleeping often claim a seat so they can catch up on their emails or surf the net.

    Ikea is very popular in China – almost like an interiors playground. People will drive miles to go to there and they like to make a big day of it. One of the big draws is being able to escape the hot weather and enjoy a rest in an air-conditioned environment.

    The store has a very open policy about customers using the shops in this way and there are even signs inviting people to get comfortable. The accommodating company also employs staff to change the sheets every other day.

    It’s a very business-savvy approach: people may not be buying while they’re sleeping, but they’re spending time in the store. The images are the perfect endorsement that the brand’s products are fulfilling their function.

    They’re also a reminder of the company’s current TV ad featuring the lady who falls out of the sky on to Ikea mattresses, eventually landing gently on the bed in her own room – all to the melodious tones of Prospero’s ‘We are such stuff as dreams are made on’.

    Ikea launched in China in 1998 and it now has 14 stores in the country. Many of the world’s largest Ikeas are in China, including the original 42,000 sq m Beijing shop and a second one that has recently opened to cope with demand.

    With all that ground to cover, who can blame shoppers for needing a rest halfway through a spending spree?

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