The company has a construction target of one, and it will be built right next to its Beijing store.
Bedding analysts estimate Ikea misses out on some 2.5 billion guilders a year in bed sales from its Beijing outlet – it’s biggest in the world - because when customers go to buy a bed there’s always someone sleeping on it.
Rather than have staff ask them to leave, or putting up a sign saying “Oh sorry did you think it was OK to fall asleep on beds in furniture stores?” the company has come up with a radical approach.
“We’ve got some spare land next to our Beijing store so we’re going to turn it into the world’s biggest bed,” said group chairman Dave Ikea.
“These people aren’t freaks. They’re not outcasts. They just need to sleep.
“Rather than turn them away we want to reach out and help them – from the mildly dozy, to the quite tired, to the absolutely knackered.”
|Crouching Tiger, Sleeping Sleeper. The scene at Ikea last|
Saturday. They really should try this at home.
Phase one of the plan comprises building a large shed to house 2000 beds split into three categories tailored to Chinese tastes - “granite”, “diamond” and “bloody hell”.
Upon arrival at the blue and gold hell, Ikea customers will then be channeled like sheep into relevant zones after taking one of three tickets – “Wanting to buy furniture”, “Pretending to buy furniture but just wanting some sleep”, and “Just here for the cheap hot dogs”.
|This man was back again, catching some|
shut-eye in the "bedding spill-over section".
He had the foresight to visit the
pillow department first.
In keeping with Ikea’s wildly successful formula, the sleep centre will be virtually impossible to get out of once customers are inside. With carefully selected music, lighting and lay-out, patrons will quickly become disoriented, confused and angry.
“By this stage they’ll be in need of a good lie-down,” Ikea said.
A support group for Beijing’s ubiquitous sleepers, Dormeurs sans Frontières, was unavailable for comment yesterday as they were all asleep.