IKEA Founder Ingvar Kamprad Dies at 91 in Sweden

Jon Howard
January 29, 2018

The Swedish founder of the Ikea furniture chain, Ingvar Kamprad, has died at the age of 91, the company has announced.

Kamprad's Dutch-registered Stichting INGKA Foundation was also one of the largest charities in the world at one time, according to the Economist, before being outdone by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Ingvar Kamprad, founder of Swedish multinational furniture retailer IKEA, is seen at company's head office in Almhult, Sweden, Aug. 6, 2002. "He worked until the... To never give up, always try to become better and lead by example", CEO and President of Inter IKEA Group Torbjörn Lööf said.

Kamprad pioneered flat-pack furniture and was "one of the greatest entrepreneurs of the 20th century", the company statement said. Mr Kamprad eventually stepped down from the company's board in 2013, at the age of 87. His activity in the group was extensive enough that, in the same year Kamprad formed Ikea, Sweden's state police began investigating him and speculated that he held a leadership position in the organization. From matches, he expanded to selling flower seeds, greeting cards, Christmas tree decorations, and later pencils and ball-point pens.

"In its 2009 fiscal year, Ikea made $3.5 billion in profits on $30.2 billion in revenues".

But Kamprad also infamously supported the fascists during World War II.

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After Ingvar Kamprad recently returned to Sweden, his sons Peter, Jonas and Mathias continued to run the business from Switzerland.

The group insists that it complies fully with national and worldwide tax regulations.

He got the idea when he watched an employee taking the legs off a table to fit it into a customer's vehicle and realized that it could be developed to save money on transport, storage and sales space.

Ikea now sports 412 stores across 49 countries, branches that sprawl more than 400,000 square feet and feature model rooms stocked with Malm bed frames, Poang chairs, Billy bookcases and Ektorp sofas.

But Kamprad lived modestly, buying his clothes at thrift shops, driving an ageing Volvo, and bringing a lunch box to work.

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