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lo-res_is058-032-sAs an international retailer, IKEA tries to maintain consistency in its offerings across borders, to keep costs low and maintain its overall reputation. But sometimes local customs and customer preferences mean that a retailer has to make accommodations to regional tastes. For IKEA in China, that doesn’t mean changing the furniture as much as it implies altering store policies. In the rest of the world, customers are strongly discouraged from getting too comfortable on the furniture on display. In China though, customers frequently and happily curl up on couches and chairs to take naps. Some even go so far as to kick of their shoes and climb under the covers to snuggle into the beds on display, whether other customers are already there or not. Cultural norms seemingly do not prohibit sleeping in public; the practice is widespread and unlikely to change. Thus IKEA simply lets sleeping customers lie, in the hope that when they wake, they might have enjoyed their nap enough that they want to take a similar bed or chair home with them.

Source: Dan Levin, The New York Times, August 26, 2016