It is also unusual because it is in the city center and 60 percent of its visitors arrive by public transport.In comparison, IKEA's newer Shanghai Beicai store, its largest in Asia, has a big car park so most people arrive in their own vehicles.The restaurant did not operate as a profit center but as a marketing tool, to support the customer service ethos.
"It is having a negative implication for our canteen's operation.
From today, the restaurant will only be for people who purchase their food first."The new rule isn't sitting so well with the elderly who relied on the space in Ikea as a meeting place."We've been to fast food outlets like Mc Donald's, but there are barely any peers there," one man identified as Qiu, 86, told Chinese state-run newspaper Global Times. If there is another place in Shanghai where elderly people can gather, we are more than ready to pay twice as much and travel further."But maybe Ikea only has itself to blame.
IKEA's China headquarters firmly rejected Deloix's initial proposal to stop the free coffee for all IKEA Family Members in order to discourage the seniors' dating club.
He had to find another way to remain true to IKEA's deeply-held customer service concepts while avoiding alienating the seniors' community and also minimizing the dating club's negative impact on customers and co-workers.
Ah yes, Ikea: the Swedish furniture giant known for its warehouses full of inexpensive furniture, Swedish meatballs, and ... In recent years, Ikea cafeterias in China have mysteriously transformed into a popular destination for elderly Chinese to gather and spend time with one another, often for hours at a time.