Beijing Loves IKEA
I highly recommend a funny and interesting article in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times. It’s about our IKEA store here in Beijing where, as the subtitle explains, “Customers hop into display beds and nap, pose for snapshots with the decor and enjoy the air conditioning and free soda refills. They just don’t buy much.”
My wife and I have been to this IKEA many times, and these are exactly the scenes we see all the time. The cafeteria there is always packed with multi-generational families on what seems to be a holiday outing. The phrase the article uses to describe the experience — “theme park” — took the words right out of our mouths. It’s an intriguing snapshot of China’s evolving consumer culture, and an example of the kind of thing that makes China such a hard place to wrap your mind around.