The “no food, no seat” rule came into force following complaints that paying customers were unable to sit at a table themselves.
It makes it easy for the seniors, who show up in groups of 70 to 700 people, to chat over a cup of coffee.
And because IKEA serves free coffee to anybody carrying an IKEA Family membership card, some of the seniors don't even have to pay for their cup.
Last month, American blogger Bird Abroad set off a media storm after she posted pictures of an elaborate fake Apple Store in Kunming, selling genuine if unauthorised i Phones, Macbooks and other widely popular Apple products.
The presence of the fake stores in Kunming highlights China's seemingly insatiable appetite for western brands in some consumer segments that have not been tapped, particularly in smaller cities far from the affluent eastern seaboard.
Zhou Hong works at IKEA as a card swiper, and she told The Wall Street Journal that on average, she hands out around 500 cups of coffee each time the seniors meet.
Read more from Global Post: Two arrested in Europe Ikea bombings Controlling the elderly crowd has proven difficult, however.
It copies Ikea's blue-and-yellow colour scheme, mock-up rooms, miniature pencils, signage and even its rocking chair designs.
Its cafeteria-style restaurant, complete with minimalist wooden tables, has a familiar look, although the menu features Chinese-style braised minced pork and eggs instead of Ikea's Swedish meatballs and salmon.
Home Depot's big box stores have bombed in China, and lots of analysts and pundits have attributed the failure to the difference in culture — the Chinese simply don't like do-it-yourself. So, if the Chinese don't like do-it-yourself, what's the difference between Home Depot and IKEA? Wang, an author and consultant on China's middle class, explained the concept in a column at Forbes last year: "In the last fifteen years, home ownership has gone from practically zero to about 70 percent.
In fact, CEO Mikael Ohlssen said in late 2011 that sales in China are growing faster than at the company as a whole.
‘What these fake stores indicate is that there is demand for the types of products and concepts that these brands sell,’ said Hong Kong-based Torsten Stocker, a China retail analyst with Monitor Group. V and they are dealing with this matter together with their legal counsel.