Sleep somewhere else: IKEA reportedly bans in-store napping at its Beijing store. (Photo: Getty Images)
IKEA is a haven for DIY shoppers everywhere. But some of its Chinese customers have taken that mentality a bit too far, creating their own personal DIY bedrooms — right there in the store!
Now IKEA is cracking down. Curbed.com is reporting IKEA’s Beijing store is banning sleepy shoppers from napping on its furniture displays.
Sleeping has become even more popular than shopping at many Chinese IKEAs. (Photo: Getty Images)
IKEA and its collection of plush beds and comfy couches has undoubtedly induced shuteye from tired shoppers all over the world (after trying to navigate a typically ginormous IKEA store, many of us could use a little rest).
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But Chinese shoppers have taken the IKEA sleeping phenomenon to crazy new heights. According to the South China Morning Post, lounging interlopers would occupy all the beds and couches during a typical shopping day at a Beijing IKEA. The practice became so widespread, Getty Images even did a photo essay.
All the while, IKEA turned a blind (and drowsy) eye to the Chinese “napidemic.” “We don’t see it as a problem.” IKEA spokesperson Josefin Thorell told the Wall Street Journal last summer. “We’re happy people feel at home in our stores.”
IKEA used to welcome all the nappers. What changed? (Photo: Getty Images)
But lately, customers have been making themselves a little too at home. One photograph in the South China Morning Post showed a woman helping a toddler urinate into a plastic water bottle right there on the showroom floor.
It appears the situation has become more intolerable for IKEA. According to the Shanghaiist, IKEA workers — who’ve reportedly had to clean up after people who snack on the kitchen displays and change the bed linens for the in-store nappers — grew tired of doubling as housekeepers.
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So, today, IKEA spokesperson Josefin Thorell has changed her tune. “We create room sets and display our furniture in a way that encourages people to try them out,” she tells Yahoo Makers. “It is important that all customers get this chance and, therefore, we sometimes need to intervene in order to enable all visitors to test, try and feel the products.”
Even though IKEA apparently has decided it will no longer sleep on this issue, word of the napping ban hasn’t filtered down to all the shoppers. Widespread napping is still being reported at some Chinese IKEAs.
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It goes to show you that, whether you’re talking no-sleeping directives or furniture assembly guides, it’s sometimes hard for IKEA customers to follow instructions.