IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad dies aged 91

Founder of Swedish furniture brand IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad, has died, according to the company.

IKEA made the announcement earlier today on Instagram, saying: “The founder of IKEA and one of the greatest entrepreneurs of the 20th century, Ingvar Kamprad, has passed away at the age of 91,”

Kamprad started the firm when he was only 18 years old in 1943. Today, IKEA is known as world’s largest furniture retailer with stores in over 49 countries.

IKEA was named as an acronym after the initials of his name, Elmtaryd – the name of the farm on which he grew up –and Agunnaryd, the nearest village to his childhood home.

Having first started by selling mail order products, he moved on to furniture retail in the 1940s and 50s. Kamprad opened his first physical store in 1958 in Älmhult.

It was around this time that he began to develop the idea of self-assembled furniture which has become synonymous with the brand’s identity.

It was in the 1960s that the IKEA first opened stores outside Sweden, first in Norway and Denmark, later expanding to wider Europe. The company’s expansion outside of Europe began from the 1980s.

“He worked until the very end of his life, staying true to his own motto that most things remain to be done,” the statement by IKEA said.

Kamprad eventually stepped down from the company’s board of directors in 2013, at the age of 87.

Users took to various social media channels to express their admiration and sadness for the passing of the flat-pack furniture pioneer.

 

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