In Beijing, IKEA Is a ‘Theme Park’

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By Steve Delahoyde Comment

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It’s a Friday at the tail end of summer and everyone we know is on vacation, including probably you (why are you reading blogs?!), so we turn to something fun. David Pierson from the LA Times has filed this report from Beijing on the IKEA (or “Yi Jia”) store located there. While the store has been incredibly popular since its opening a decade ago, which is no surprise given how all of their big boxes always seemed swamped, this location has become something of a destination that only happens to offer shopping. People sleep in the beds, kids jump on couches, and families come to spend the whole day (which, if you’re anything like us, that last one sounds like the worst form of torture ever devised). The store’s management doesn’t seem concerned at all, hoping that the people who treat the shop as a theme park will return to buy, as China’s per-household income continues to rise. It’s a great, very odd story, and perfect for a lazy morning such as this. We’re just full of regret that we hadn’t read the piece earlier, when we were in Beijing back in May. We did go to a Wal-Mart over there, but that was as dull as any of them over here. Next time.