Shoppers can nap at an Ikea store in China, no questions asked


When it’s sweltering in Shanghai, do as local people do and settle down for a nap at Ikea – if you can find an open bed.

Chinese have a peculiar penchant for making themselves at home in the Swedish retailer’s air-conditioned showrooms, napping on beds, dozing on couches, and eating at supper tables – and the phenomenon is on full display as the sweltering summer sets in.

With the mercury pushing 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and outside feeling distinctly muggy, individuals from all kinds of different backgrounds – kids with parents, couples, and the elderly – can be seen lounging and even, somehow, getting a couple of Zs amid the crush of shoppers.

Apparently perceiving the potential benefit that comes from increased footfall, Ikea has long tolerated serving as a surrogate living room for Chinese buyers, a number of whom live in tiny apartments and seem to revel in stretching out on a spacious sofa.

However, an Ikea store in Shanghai a year ago imposed a “no food, no seating” rule in its well known cafeteria, which had reportedly turned into the chosen venue for some widowed or separated elderly looking for a a romantic match.

Ikea’s Chinese sofa potatoes are expected to stay out in force for the time being.

The Shanghai Meteorological Bureau issued a yellow heatwave signal this week, which warns of temperatures climbing past 35 degrees.