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Ikea Founder Is No More

Ikea Founder Is No More

Swede Ingvar Kamprad, the billionaire founder of the IKEA retail empire whose cheap, functional furniture is a feature of homes around the world, has died at the age of 91.

The company's official Instagram account says Ingvar Kamprad passed away at his home in Sweden.

Mr. Kamprad, whose 2017 fortune was estimated at €37.3 billion (around $46 billion) according to the Swiss magazine Bilan, founded the company at the age of 17.

Ingvar Kamprad was honored by lowering the Swedish flag outside an IKEA in Stockholm.

The first Ikea store was opened in 1958 and it became the largest furniture shop in Sweden at the time.

Yet there was one more crucial element to come - the concept of flat-pack furniture.

A customer signs a book of condolences at the entrance of an IKEA store in Stockholm.

His decision to live overseas, mainly in Switzerland, to avoid Sweden's high income taxes was also widely criticised. Kamprad said he stopped attending its meetings in 1948, later attributing his involvement to the "folly of youth", and calling it "the greatest mistake of my life". She wrote that he was an active recruiter for a Swedish Nazi group, and stayed close to sympathisers well after World War Two. He chose the name IKEA as a composite of his own first and last initials, as well as the first letters of the family farm, Elmtaryd, and the nearby village Agunnaryd. His early success arose from squeezing his prices to undercut more established competitors.

Armytage's co-host Natalie Barr and fill-in Monique Wright nervously smiled as she continued with the foot-in-mouth segment labelling his death'a lovely story
Founder of Swedish furniture firm Ikea Ingvar Kamprad dead aged 91

Ingvar Kamprad was at a trade fair in Italy in the 1940s when he had an idea.

He soon moved away from making sales calls and began advertising in local newspapers and operating a makeshift mail order catalogue.

Ikea's revolutionary self-assembly model - which would cut transport and storage costs - was conceived in 1956 after an employee suggested table legs be removed so the package would fit into a auto.

Ikea now has over 400 stores across every continent and employs 190,000 people worldwide.

Mr Kamprad was known for being frugal, despite his wealth.He reportedly drove an old Volvo, travelled by economy class and brought a lunch box to work.

In a 2016 interview with Swedish television channel TV4, he said that it was "in the nature of Smaland to be thrifty". "If you look at me now, I don't think I'm wearing anything that wasn't bought at a flea market'".

In 2013, he was forced to hand over billions of dollars to his sons following a bitter family feud over intellectual property income that he kept for himself, according to a book on Ikea.

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