Shanghai’s IKEA Tries to Stop Elderly People from Freeloading All Day in Their Cafe

Chinese customers have long been using IKEA’s spacious stores like they’re some kind of an indoor, air-conditioned park with furniture. Non-buying loiterers would often be seen napping on the beds, chatting about, or just generally hanging out on the display couches.

Recently, a group of elderly Shanghai folks have taken this unique phenomenon to a whole new level of brazen behavior, JF Daily reported (via Quartz).

Hundreds of seniors have been conducting weekly meetings at the cafe of IKEA’s flagship store in Shanghai without buying anything. The crowd, part of a blind-dating community, would fill up the store for hours while scouting for a potential mate.  

1

Having had enough, the international furniture retail chain decided to take action against the group of older singles earlier this month. On Oct. 5, the store announced that customers will now be requested to order food before they are seated in hopes of preventing freeloaders from taking advantage of the cafeteria.

3

IKEA even placed a notice board at the entrance announcing that the “illegal blind-dating group” has been “seriously” affecting the eatery’s normal operations with their “uncivilized behavior.” The post noted that members of the group have been “taking up seats for long hours, bringing outside food and tea, speaking loudly, spitting, and having quarrels and fights.”

5

4

The notice, however, failed to discourage the elderly patrons from continuously overrunning the place every dating week. By simply buying the cheapest item, a $0.60 croissant, and placing it on top of the table, the staff no longer bothered them. They also still eat outside food, allowing the group to be able spend the day in the cafe as usual.

A spokesperson from IKEA revealed that the cafe had previously warned those love-seeking seniors against staying for long hours and behaving badly, but to no avail.

When asked what they thought of the new rules and restrictions, the seniors were quoted as saying they were “unfair” and “baffling.”

Support our Journalism with a Contribution

Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.

Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for everyone’s support. We love you all and can’t appreciate you guys enough.

NextShark is a leading source covering Asian American News and Asian News including business, culture, entertainment, politics, tech and lifestyle.

For advertising and inquiries: info@nextshark.com