“Ikea hasn’t made any complaints about their Chinese shoppers”

Du Xiaodon is a student from Shanghai who occasionally works at Ikea.

The average monthly income for someone from Beijing, Shanghai or Shenzhen - where Ikea has shops - is around 3,000 to 4,000 RMB [€300 - €400]. An EKTORP sofa itself costs 3,500 RMB - the same price as in the US and Europe. So I think that's why most people go there to do window shopping rather than real shopping. You see a lot of people with cameras. Some of them simply want to have pictures of the pretty furniture, others are design imitators, who then use the image to get a carpenter to copy it.

It's true that people go for ‘outings' to Ikea with their kids, and they do sit down in the chairs and have a lie down on the beds. But they only stay for a few minutes. There are few people sleeping like you see in the photos put online.

Ikea hasn't made any complaints about their Chinese shoppers. I think the company is optimistic about its market in China. They built five stores in the country between 2005 and 2009, and their sales have increased 25% each year, while only 10% in the rest of the world."
Xiaodong Du's picture

Xiaodong Du

* China
* College student, translator, blogger, business consultancy part timer


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