The IKEA story begins in 1926 when founder Ingvar Kamprad is born in Småland in Southern Sweden. He is raised on 'Elmtaryd', a farm near the small village of Agunnaryd. Even as a young boy, Ingvar knows he wants to develop a business.
How it all began
The following history shows how, over six decades, IKEA went from the woods of Southern Sweden to being a major retail experience in 44 countries/territories around the world:
At the age of five, Ingvar Kamprad starts selling matches to his nearby neighbours and by the time he is seven, he starts selling further afield, using his bicycle. He finds that he can buy matches in bulk cheaply in Stockholm and re-sell them individually at a very low price but still make a good profit. From matches, he expands to selling flower seeds, greeting cards, Christmas tree decorations, and later pencils and ball-point pens.
IKEA is founded by Ingvar Kamprad
When Ingvar Kamprad is 17, his father gives him money as a reward for succeeding in his studies. He uses it to establish his own business. The name IKEA is formed from the founder's initials (I.K.) plus the first letters of Elmtaryd (E) and Agunnaryd (A), the farm and village where he grew up. IKEA originally sells pens, wallets, picture frames, table runners, watches, jewellery and nylon stockings - meeting needs with products at reduced prices.
The first IKEA advertisements appear
Ingvar Kamprad's business outgrows his ability to make individual sales calls, so he begins advertising in local newspapers and operating a makeshift mail-order service. He uses the local milk van to deliver products to the nearby train station.
Furniture is introduced into the IKEA range
The furniture is produced by local manufacturers in the forests close to Ingvar Kamprad's home. The response is positive and the line expands.
The first IKEA catalogue is published
IKEA founder sees the opportunity to sell furniture on a larger scale using a... [continues]
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