At 9am in Beijing this morning, the mercury had already hit 27C.
So it looked like another warm one today and temperatures will be in the mid-30s for at least another week. Not great shopping conditions.
Unless you’re in IKEA, where there’s reliable air-conditioning, cheap food and beds. And sofas. And chairs.
Last weekend, IKEA Beijing, one of the 10 biggest IKEA stores in the world (seven others of which are also in China), invited foreign media into their store.
This is what they saw:
According to Getty, whose photographer Kevin Fray took these images:
The stores are designed with extra room displays given the tendency for customers to make a visit an all-day affair. Store management does not discourage shoppers from sleeping on Ikea furniture, even marking them with signs inviting customers to try them out.
This chair looked particularly uncomfortable, but the lady was undeterred:
The pictures have caused a bit of comment in China itself, where netizens have voiced both sympathy and disgust for their fellow workers in the big cities.
Here’s a few early reactions on chinaSMACK:
The people of the capital live in an abyss of suffering, so what can they do?
I went to IKEA in Shanghai with the intent to buy furniture for the whole house. Seems almost everything I wanted to look at or sit in was filled with sleeping Chinese. I gave up and went somewhere else to buy enough furniture for a new 2 bedroom apartment. BAD MOVE IKEA as this policy will cost you sales from pissed off customers who don’t want to walk around sleeping smelly piggy people.
After collecting one’s wages, income takes takes a chunk, mortgage loan takes a chunk, car loan takes a chunk, education expenses [for a child] take a chunk, utilities takes a chunk, and there is little left! All dreams are shattered, and then slowly you being accumulating dreams, only for them to be shattered yet again, an endless cycle! So of course we are tired/weary at heart!
It actually looks like one of the better IKEA experiences, far removed from the wandering zombie line the rest of us have to endure.
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