Perhaps Aerosmith Should Write a Song about Love at a Shanghai IKEA?

Keith’s game is too hard for an economist, so permit me to cheat and talk about China (chin, chi, hi, i).

The WSJ is reporting that IKEA.   is the place to go in China for free coffee and a preview of their approaching consumer lifestyle.

Hundreds of seniors are flocking there and a dating scene has popped up.   I liked this quote;

“In China, IKEA is planning to up its nine locations to 17 stores by 2015 to meet demand from the nation’s growing middle class, who aspire to Western lifestyles at affordable prices. But some are still in the gawk-phase. They come out of sheer curiosity, or to behold the vast spaces bursting with thousands of gadgets and creature comforts.

As culture and commerce intersect, some unusual behavior has emerged. And older folks aren’t the only troublemakers. Young people, often with kids in tow, plop on chairs to watch videos on their smartphones. People aren’t shy about kicking off their shoes and tucking into display beds for a nap.”

Aerosmith could revamp their classic for this older generation?



Author: Matthew E. Kahn

Professor of Economics at UCLA.

5 thoughts on “Perhaps Aerosmith Should Write a Song about Love at a Shanghai IKEA?”

  1. It looks to me a whole lot like this report was filed by a lazy journalist who needed to write something and thought he’d rehash what he did with his girlfriend last weekend. Matt Taibi saw a whole lot of this “journalism” when he worked in Russia in the early 90’s. He even has an anecdote about it, where he talks about one of his early assignments at the Moscow zoo, “Communist monkey gets his first banana”, and then realized every damn story he was writing was a variant on “communist monkey gets his first banana”. The details of this particular piece seems to hark back even further — very reminiscent of Bruce McCall’s _In the New Canada, Living is a Way of Life_.

    It’s not clear what value that Russian “journalism” had — the important stories in Russia at the time had nothing to do with such obvious and superficial matters; and likewise it’s unclear what USEFUL I am learning when I learn such completely obvious facts as the Chinese like to do the same stuff that we like to do, only they do it slightly differently. Man, next you’ll be telling me they have their own words for things, and their own food.

  2. Matthew, you should have first farmed your post out to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to fix all the thumb typos…
    I’m sure some Chinese (chines, chine, chin, hin, in, i) would have cleaned it up for you for a few half sous (sou, so, o).
    And no, I don’t think anybody would think you were just another heartless capitalistic pig (pi, i) for striking that anonymous bargain on the backs of cheap labor.

    Everybody is doing it.
    It’s okay in a transactional analysis sort of way…

  3. For a developing country, and a crowded one at that, China has remarkably good, and plentiful, housing stock. A very large part of the population has plenty of space to furnish.

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