Ikea founder dies aged 91

Alicia Cross
January 29, 2018

Surrounded by his loved ones, he died at the age of 91, following a short illness.

Kamprad was born in 1926 in Småland, southern Sweden.

Ingvar Kamprad, who created Ikea in 1943 when he was 17, is credited as a pioneer of flat-pack furniture and transforming the style of British homes.

"Now I have told all I can", he said at a book release ceremony at an IKEA store in suburban Stockholm.

Having moved to Switzerland to reduce his tax burden, he returned to Sweden in 2014. In 1986 he left Ikea's address to continue as an advisor and in 2013 announced his decision to leave board of directors, which he left in hands of one of his three children, Mathias Kamprad. The entrepreneur found it hard to work with product codes, so instead the company developed names for every single product.

The European Commission announced past year that it launched an investigation into IKEA's tax deals in the Netherlands.

A report by the Green party in European Parliament a year ago said Ikea avoided one billion euros ($1.2 billion) in EU taxes between 2009 to 2014.

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Ikea said at the time that it complies with all tax rules, and would cooperate with regulators.

Kamprad's legacy of creating affordable furniture has earned him admiration among consumers around the world.

Sweden was neutral in World War II, and its Nazi party remained active after 1945. The Ikea founder said he stopped attending its meetings in 1948.

His early success came from squeezing prices to undercut established competitors. Initially, the company sold pens and clocks but after a few years, Ikea also started selling furniture, with the first furniture collection produced in the mid-1950s.

Mr Kamprad got the idea as he watched an employee taking the legs off a table to fit it into a customer's vehicle and realised that saving space meant saving money.

Last year, Ikea Australia also unveiled the Ikea Virtual Reality store, making it the first large format retailer in the country to provide a unique digital experience that allows customers to "walk" the iconic Ikea store and browse products.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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