Ikea Introduction

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IKEA[1] is one of the biggest furniture retailer in the world, recognized for its Scandinavian style. IKEA is a home furnishing company with a fully integrated supply chain, including its own industrial groups – Swedwood and Swedspan and retail centre – Ikea stores. The company works in four basic areas: range strategy & product development, production, supply and retail.

IKEA was founded in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad, a young entrepreneur from Elmtaryd, Sweden. Initially Kamprad sold a wide range of products such as pencils, nylon stockings, wallets and watches via mail order. In 1948 Ikea started offering furniture for sale, and three years later the first edition of the Ikea catalogue was released. The first IKEA store opened in 1958 in Älmhult, Sweden. From 1958, the company expanded fast, opening its first store abroad in 1963. Since then, IKEA has expanded to 37 countries and 301 stores: The IKEA Group itself owns 267 stores in 25 countries; the other 34 stores are owned and run by franchisees outside the IKEA Group in 16 countries. IKEA’s complicated corporate structure is believed to be designed to protect the Kamprad family from taxes and to avoid the possibility of a takeover of IKEA (IKEA: Flat-pack accounting, 2006) - every structure stage is explained in the table below (IKEA Corporate Structure, 2010):

IKEA is actually a privately held company owned by Stichting INGKA Foundation, a non-profit registered in Leiden in the Netherlands which is controlled by the Kamprad family. Stichting INGKA Foundation is the owner of INGKA Holding B.V.

INGKA Holding B.V. is the parent company for all of the IKEA Group companies. The IKEA Group companies are comprised of IKEA Services B.V. and IKEA Services AB which have 9 divisions in Sweden and the Netherlands which support the work in all the IKEA Group companies.

The IKEA Group Companies are primarily concerned with carrying out the necessary functions to bring IKEA products to market. The companies...
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