Man who found IKEA as a 17-year-old dies at 91

After amassing huge wealth worth valued at over £51 billion, the man who found IKEA at the age of 17 has passed on to the afterlife, said his company which boasts of over 412 shops.


Image: Ingvar Kamprad

In a recent update, IKEA said its founder Ingvar Kamprad, died at his Swedish home in Smaland.

Despite his huge wealth, Kamprad reportedly wore second-hand clothes and drove a 15-year-old car, Mail Online confirmed.

The notoriously frugal billionaire was rated 4th among the world’s list of richest men.

One regret he admitted having in life was his Nazi past.

IKEA said in an official statement that Kamprad “died peacefully,” and described him as “one of the greatest entrepreneurs of the 20th century.”

The billionaire coined IKEA as initials from his name Ingvar Kamprad (IK), E for Elmtaryd, the family farm where he grew up, and an A for Agunnaryd, his home village.

Media reports confirm Mr. Kamprad’s first idea of the business came when he was trying to fit a table into the boot of his car. It was at that time he envisaged a flat-packed furniture which could make life and movements easier.

One of his friends, at the time, suggested he should “take the legs off” – and the rest is history.

Mr. Kamprad established his first store in 1965 but faced a very difficult challenge. There was a strong wind, and suddenly, a neon sign near his shop was smashed and fire erupted, burning down his first attempt to be successful in life.

His route to becoming a billionaire was not easy. In his early years, Mr. Kamprad sold matchboxes to neighbors from his bicycle after discovering a cheap supply link from Stockholm.

He later sold fish, Christmas tree decorations, seeds, ball-point pens and pencils.

Soon, his industrious nature led him into advertising in local newspapers and operating a makeshift mail-order catalog, distributing his products via the local milk van, which delivered them to the nearby train station.

By 1950, Mr. Kamprad had ventured into furniture production with assistance from local manufacturers in the forests close to his home. He added the business into his catalog for the first time and got an unexpected positive response from clients, then he decided to focus on low-priced furniture and discontinue all other products.

This was the history of IKEA concept: a cheap and very affordable furniture which customers can assemble themselves.