Founder of IKEA has died

Nick Sanchez
January 29, 2018

Ingvar Kamprad, a Swedish entrepreneur who grew a childhood business selling matches and lingonberries into Ikea, a build-it-yourself furniture empire that introduced sleek Scandinavian designs into tens of millions of homes around the world, died January 27 at his home in Smaland, a province in southern Sweden.

THE FOUNDER of Ikea Ingvar Kamprad has died aged 91.

Sweden's royal house, politicians and business leaders are praising the work and entrepreneurial spirit of IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad, who died at age 91.

"Since 1988 Ingvar Kamprad did not have an operational role within Ikea but he continued to contribute to the business in the role of senior advisor, sharing his knowledge and energy with the Ikea co-workers", the company said on Sunday.

In a statement, Ikea said that, after a short illness, Mr Kamprad had died peacefully on Saturday, surrounded by his loved ones, at his home in Småland, Sweden.

IKEA now has around 400 stores, visited by almost 1 billion people in 2017.

Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf said Sunday in an emailed statement to news agency TT that Kamprad was "a true entrepreneur" who brought the Scandinavian country "out to the world" while remaining "a down-to-earth person with a great commitment".

In June 2013, Kamprad retired from all responsibilities in IKEA and its sister concerns.

Kamprad was known for driving an old Volvo, recycling tea bags and taking home little packets of salt and pepper from restaurant visits.

In the 1990s, Kamprad found himself under attack when his association with a pro-Nazi group, five decades earlier, came to light.

Almost two decades later, a book by Swedish journalist Elisabeth Asbrink extended the claims, linking Kamprad to a group that succeeded the country's swastika-flying National Socialist Workers Party.

Kamprad was born on March 30, 1926, in Pjatteryd, Sweden.

According to company lore, young Ingvar was 5 when he started his first business venture, selling matches to his neighbors.

Always looking to cut costs, Kamprad bought much of IKEA's furniture from then communist Poland in the 1960s.

Kamprad stepped down as CEO in the late 1980s. Instead, he said, Kamprad drove a Porsche.

In 1973, he fled Sweden's higher tax structure for Denmark before seeking even lower taxes in Switzerland.

His sons - Peter, Jonas and Mathias - still sit on the boards of various Ikea entities, but the family is no longer at the helm.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Kamprad's net worth was $58.7 billion. "He really left an indelible imprint on retail and on consumers' lives".

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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