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The Swedish furniture giant IKEA has banned old people dating its store Shanghai, China. Store managers decided to clamp down what they described as 'illegal date clubs'. Since the store opened several years ago, hundreds lonely, divorced or widowed elderly people have descended the cafeteria in search of love and companionship. Many of them simply used the café a meeting place and did not buy anything. Management said they occupied seats 'extended periods,' 'spoke loudly,' 'spat the floor,' 'flirted' and had 'quarrels and fights'. The store posted a notice saying: "From today, the restaurant will only be people who purchase their food first."

The older clientele are in arms over the ban. They say they have nowhere else to go. An 88-year-old IKEA regular said: "We've been to McDonald's and KFC, but there are barely any our peers there. We feel like aliens there - surrounded youngsters." Another frequent visitor to the restaurant said: "I guess few people know just how lonely old people are. Our kids are not around, and some visit only weekends. I feel quite good when I come here. I talk friends, but some elderly do meet people who become lovers." Some customers have little sympathy those in search love. They have complained that there is nowhere to sit because the matchmaking groups.

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