Ikea in Beijing has had to switch to paper cups after people took the white porcelain cups, thinking they were free.
The food and drink at the cafeteria upstairs are nothing to rave about, but they help refuel people's appetites to shop.
And patrons who are members of the "Ikea Family" or VIP card are entitled to unlimited cups of coffee and other drinks at self-serve counters.
However, the Swedish retailer had to switch to paper cups as of last week.
"The nice cups were just taken away. We had nothing to do with it, it was simply a management decision," an unidentified member of Ikea's staff told the Legal Mirror.
"We often see customers drinking coffee, then putting the cup in their bags, still full. We go up to them, telling them to stop, and they tell us they thought the cups were free to take," the employee added.
One would have thought that by now, Ikea customers, most of whom are university educated and upwardly mobile wouldn't do such a crass thing as taking the cup with them.
But it looks like this is the case.
Perhaps that explains why the place is so popular -- making several trips there in order to get a full set of coffee cups...