Ikea takes on China

November 30, 2011, 3:00 PM UTC

he Swedish retailer’s stores in China have become a favorite leisure destination for shoppers. At Ikea’s Beijing outlet (below) — its busiest store in China — patrons can be seen sipping lingonberry juice in the cafeteria, taking family portraits in showrooms, or even sleeping on the beds. Last year 33 million people visited Ikea’s Chinese mainland stores. Revenue growth of 20% makes this one of the company’s fastest-growing markets. Anne VanderMey

As customers ride an escalator at Ikea’s Beijing store, they can snap up a green apple corer, if they choose.

By the numbers:

20,000: The average number of shoppers a day who visit Ikea’s 463,000-square-foot store in Beijing. On Saturdays and Sundays that number can spike to around 30,000 visitors.

9: The number of stores Ikea has opened in mainland China, with five more under construction. The Asian/Australian region accounts for 6% of the company’s sales.

$2.7 trillion: China’s retail sales in 2011 as estimated by China Market Research Group, up 16% from the prior year. By contrast, U.S. retail sales so far this year have grown 8%.

Sources: Ikea; China Market Research Group

This article is from the December 12, 2011 issue of Fortune.

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