In a giant backflip on its laid-back policy welcoming customers to leisurely sample their furniture products, an Ikea retailer in Beijing has implemented new regulations cracking down on snoozing shoppers.
In what might put an end to the iconic sight of drowsy patrons putting their feet up and catching some shut eye, China.com has reported that the Swedish furniture giant is no longer permitting Beijing customers to sleep on the furniture displays.
Once renowned for its laid-back stance on slumbering shoppers, Ikea is now taking a stern approach to stop the masses of people who frequent the store solely to avail themselves of the comfortable bedding and air-conditioning, with no intention of buying anything.
Workers from the store said that nappers had become too much of a nuisance, presenting an unsightly image and preventing bona fide customers from sampling the goods. Indeed, the alleged toddler peeing on bed incident may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.
However, weary customers have not seemed to take notice of this stringent new edict issued by Ikea; the Xinhongmen store visited by reporters remained the sea of slumbering shoppers one remembers from the glory days of liberal in-store sleeping policies.
The difficulty Ikea has had in implementing the new provision is mainly due to the stubbornness of the Chinese furniture store squatter: many are simply refusing to listen to staff and abide the rules; while other wily nappers just find a new bed or couch to carry on with their siesta.
Perhaps Ikea should bring in complimentary servings of its horse-meat meatballs if it continues to have trouble extricating the most tenacious nappers.
By Liam Bourke