IKEA a top hangout for Beijingers

August 25, 2009 | Posted by Chris

The IKEA store located at Beijing's northeast fourth ring road has become a unique attraction for locals looking to spend their free time, the Los Angeles Times reports today in a column one story. According to the article, the IKEA has became an attraction on par with Beijing's other more culturally-endowed sights, because of its cleanliness, air conditioning, spacious cafeteria with good food, and most of all, its many amenities that symbolize the modern life. Lizzy Hou, a 25 year old orginally from Hebei Province, sums it up when she says, "We want to be modern. I think IKEA stands for a kind of lifestyle." However, there is one problem as far the management is concerned: customers are coming in droves to look and touch, but not buying much. According to company spokeswoman Linda Xu, "The brand awareness is great, but the question is, how do we get people to open up their wallets and spend money?" Perhaps it will take time, but meanwhile the likes of one Mr. Zhang are thinking, "Why spend so much money when you can have the same thing cheaper?" Apparently the company is expecting customers to change their habits, as seen in their plans to open a new megastore in Beijing's southern Daxing district in 2012.

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