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Thursday, 20 August 2015

IKEA

Ingvar Kamprad (March 30, 1926 – January 27, 2018) first started selling matchboxes as a child, before selling fountain pens, cigarette lighters and nylon stockings.

The then-17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad founded IKEA in 1943 as a mostly mail-order sales business, selling replicas of his uncle's kitchen table. The company's name is an acronym that consists of the initials of Ingvar Kamprad, Elmtaryd, the farm in south Sweden on which grew up and Agunnaryd, the nearby village.

The first Ikea store in Älmhult, Sweden. Photo by Christian Koehn. 

Flatpack furniture was invented in Sweden by Gillis Lundgren, a draughtsman hired by Ingvar Kamprad. Lundgren was trying to get a wooden table into the boot of a car, and decided to pull off the legs to make it fit. He then discussed the idea with his employers at IKEA, which developed the concept, launching its first piece in 1956.

The first item of Ikea flatpack furniture was a leaf-shaped side table, which originally appeared in the 1956 catalog.

IKEA publishes an annual catalog, first published in Swedish in 1951. IKEA published 198 million catalogs in 2014, surpassing the Bible in terms of printing.

When IKEA first entered the US market in 1986, they noticed customers were buying huge amounts of flower vases. Turns out, they were being used as water glasses, as the actual glasses sold there were too small.

It has been estimated that one in 10 Europeans were conceived in an Ikea bed.

The average size of an Ikea store is 300,000 square feet (27,871 square meters) - the equivalent of 42 tennis courts.

Ikea opened its largest store in South Korea in 2014, and it's 60,000 square metres (645,834 Sq ft)

1% of the Earth's wood supply is used by IKEA to make its furniture.

In China, it is acceptable to walk into an IKEA store to relax and take a nap.

Inggvar Kamprad, the thrifty billionaire founder of Ikea bought his clothes at flea markets and once said he got his hair cut while visiting developing countries to save money.

Ingvar Kamprad in Haparanda, 2010. By Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications of Sweden/Sandra Baqirjazid

IKEA is actually Dutch. The furniture chain is operated by INGKA Holding, which is headquartered in Leiden, Netherlands.

IKEA sofas have Swedish names, its rugs have Danish names and its beds have Norwegian names.

IKEA's curtains are given mathematical names, bathroom products are named for lakes and rivers, and bookcases are named for occupations.

There's one Ikea Billy bookcase for every 100 people on the planet.

IKEA started serving food in its stores because Ingvar Kamprad learned that many customers were leaving without buying anything due to hunger. Over 1.2 billion hot dogs have been consumed since its opening.

An average of 1,836,000 meatballs are eaten daily in Ikea’s 313 stores worldwide.

The IKEA HQ in the Netherlands had to stop offering their €1 breakfast because the highways couldn't handle the traffic it attracted.

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