The furniture store IKEA has banned old people from dating at its store in Shanghai. Store managers decided to stop what they described as 'illegal date clubs'. Since the store opened, hundreds of lonely, divorced or widowed elderly people have gone to the cafeteria in search of love and friendship. Many of them did not buy anything. Management said they used seats for 'extended periods,' 'spoke loudly,' 'spat on the floor,' 'flirted' and had 'quarrels and fights'. The store said: "From today, the restaurant will only be for people who purchase their food first."
The elderly people are angry about the ban. They say they have nowhere to go. One regular said: "We've been to McDonald's and KFC, but there are barely any of our peers there. We feel like aliens there - surrounded by youngsters." Another frequent visitor said: "Few people know just how lonely old people are. Our kids are not around, and some visit only on weekends. I feel quite good when I come here. I talk with friends, but some elderly do meet people who become lovers." Customers have little sympathy for those in search of love. They complain that there is nowhere to sit.