IKEA, well-known for their ready to assemble furniture, started out as a run-of-the-mill mail-order sales business and has since been honoured by the Swedish government for taking Swedish culture globally.
In addition to being able to order Swedish meatballs in over 50 countries, IKEA has taken modernist design to the masses. Their interior design work aims to be eco-friendly and to keep the environment as free from complexity as possible. Eco-friendly design in mind the IKEA production machine accounts for 1% of global wood consumption.
The stores are designed so that you need to make your way through the entire store before reaching the exit and see the full product range. Every store has a play area self-explanatorily named Småland. A mammoth 12,000 products make up the IKEA website that sees over 2 billion visits a year.
IKEA was founded by Ingvar Kamprad at the tender age of 17 and would propel him into the Forbes Top Ten Richest People list by 2015. IKEA is an acronym of Kamprad’s name, the farm he grows up on and his home town. Kamprad passed away in January 2018.
IKEA spread to other countries in Europe in the 70s with Germany becoming the most prolific region – a store was even accidentally opened in the wrong town amid chaotic launch schedules. IKEA now employs 208,000 people worldwide.
In keeping with their culture of innovation, IKEA has started a furniture rental business with the intention to reduce their environmental impact. This was also done with young buyers, who can’t always afford to purchase their products, in mind.