Ikea founder Kamprad dies at 91

29 January, 2018, 09:09 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • Founder of Swedish furniture firm Ikea Ingvar Kamprad dead aged 91

Ingvar Kamprad is the IK in IKEA.

"We are mourning the loss of our founder and dear friend Ingvar", Jesper Brodin, chief executive officer of the Ikea Group, the largest retailer in the Ikea franchise system, said in a statement.

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

First distributed in 1951, Ikea now sends 250 million copies of its catalogue to more than 50 markets in 30 languages, putting it alongside the Bible as one of the world's most popular books. Ingvar Kamprad began the flatpack firm on his parent's farm in 1943 and only stepped down from the board in 2013, 70 years later.

Kamprad was the eighth richest man in the world, with a total net worth of $58.7 billion according to Bloomberg. IKEA, in a statement, said that Kamprad died at his home in Småland, Sweden.

Known for its embrace of typically Swedish motifs that included using the country's blue and yellow flag colour scheme for the logo and serving traditionally Scandinavian dishes in its cafeteria, Kamprad's own relationship with Sweden was often complicated. Kamprad apologized to Ikea employees, saying his membership was the "greatest mistake of his life". Lately, Ikea has collaborated with high-end designers, including Tom Dixon (whose collection launches this week), trendy Danish company HAY, and British designer Ilse Crawford.

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The Ikea group now has 403 stores across every continent, employs 190,000 people worldwide and generates annual sales of 38 billion euros ($47 billion).

Around that time, Kamprad's management style also came under criticism.

An early entrepreneur, he started his first business venture aged five by selling matches to his neighbours.

The third is the initial of Elmtaryd - the family farm he was born at. A great entrepreneur who helped bring Sweden into the world. But the heady valuations assumed his assets were Ikea's, and in the last several decades the company has restructured so that its assets are owned by a foundation created by Kamprad.

Their success is generally attributed to the practices and leadership of Kamprad himself, who preached a lifestyle of strict frugality. Kamprad's character is crucified on a Maypole, according to the New Yorker, but much like his real-life counterpart he remained unfazed.

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