Ingvar Kamprad, Ikea’s Swedish Billionaire Founder, Dies at 91

Ingvar Kamprad, whose boyhood company of selling pencils and seed products from his bicycle in Sweden eventually grew into the Ikea furnishings chain, has died. He has been 91.

“ One of the greatest entrepreneurs from the 20th century, Ingvar Kamprad, offers peacefully passed away at his house in Smaland, Sweden, on January. 27, " Ikea said within an emailed statement on Sunday. The particular founder of Ikea, as well as a financial institution for its customers, Ikano, “ had been “ surrounded by his family members, ” and died “ carrying out a short illness. "

Kamprad recently had an estimated net worth of $58. 7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Catalog , making him the world’ s eighth-richest person. The prosperity was accumulated by producing home furniture for the masses that was affordable and straightforward to transport. The Ikea flat packages revolutionized the way in which tables, chairs as well as other items could be stored and delivered, before being assembled by the consumer.

“ We are grieving the loss of our founder and beloved friend Ingvar, ” Jesper Brodin, chief executive officer of the Ikea Group, the biggest retailer in the Ikea franchise program, said in a statement. “ Their legacy will be admired for many years in the future and his vision – – to produce a better everyday life for the many people -– will continue to guide and encourage us. ”

Frugal Billionaire

Kamprad was known for traveling an old Volvo, recycling tea luggage and taking home little bouts of salt and pepper through restaurant visits. He was generally known as “ Uncle Scrooge” and “ The Miser” in the Swiss community of Epalinges, near Lausanne, in which he moved in the 1970s before time for Sweden a few years ago. He furthermore avoided wearing suits and connections and traveled coach when traveling.

Ikea’ s business culture mirrors Kamprad’ s special event of frugality. Executives of the business travel on low-cost airlines plus lodge in budget hotels. The employees follow a basic pamphlet authored by Kamprad in 1976, “ The particular Testament of a Furniture Dealer, ” which states that “ throwing away resources is a mortal sin, ” and stipulates Ikea’ s “ duty to expand. ”

Brodin, who during their career at Ikea worked for 3 years as an assistant to Kamprad, said in a phone interview upon Sunday that the billionaire “ began as a 17-year-old with two vacant pockets, but a ton of entrepreneurship. This individual used to tell me that he never understood it would become so big. "

Kamprad’ s death “ will influence us all and we’ ll take the time to be sad and reflect on exactly what Ingvar achieved, " Brodin mentioned.

Condolences poured in from politicians, business market leaders and royalty. Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said his country experienced lost a “ unique business owner who meant a lot to Sweden’ s business community. ”

Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said Kamprad “ pre-eminently place Sweden on the world map. A great entrepreneur who contributed to getting Sweden out into the world. The thoughts are with his family and family members. ”

The Ikea Experience

Entire households descended on the company’ s shops each week and Ikea’ s products became  ubiquitous. Shoppers drop off youngsters at Ikea day-care centers, eat at Ikea restaurants and select through among thousands of products ranging from leather-based sofas to soup ladles. Within 2017, 403 Ikea stores in 49 nations received 936 million visitors, as well as the chain generated sales of 37. 3 billion euros ($47. six billion).

U. E. style magazine Icon in 2006 named Kamprad the most influential taste-maker in the world, and wrote “ if it wasn’ to for Ikea, most people would have simply no access to affordable contemporary design. The organization has done more to bring about a good acceptance of domestic modernity compared to rest of the design world combined. ”

The name Ikea consists of the founder’ s initials as well as the first letters of the Elmtaryd plantation and Agunnaryd village where he grew up. His flat-pack furniture was developed by Ikea employee Gillis Lundgren in 1956 when he attempted to fit a table into the back of the car. Realizing the table had been too bulky, Lundgren removed the particular legs. Storing and selling Billy book shelves or entire kitchen areas in pieces has let Ikea cut storage space and fill the trucks with more goods.

The concept of having customers pick up the majority of their own furniture in adjacent warehouses and transport it home just for self-assembly also helped drive down expenses.

Childhood Business

Ingvar Feodor Kamprad came to be March 30, 1926, near the the southern part of Swedish town of Almhult. Their father, Feodor, looked after the family plantation and his mother, Berta, ran the lodging house on the property throughout the summer. At age 5, Kamprad began his business ventures by selling fits to his neighbors. Buying in bulk within Stockholm and selling at a high quality in smaller quantities, he obtained his introduction to a business practice he’d cherish at Ikea.

The entrepreneur, who was still going to high school in Gothenburg, moved on in order to fish, Christmas-tree decorations, seeds plus pencils, which he sold through his bicycle. Founding Ikea within 1943, Kamprad then started advertising pens, wallets and nylon tights in the local media, and distributed all of them using a milk van. He began offering furniture in 1948.

In the 1990s, Kamprad found themselves under attack when his organization with a pro-Nazi group, five years earlier, came to light. Kamprad apologized to Ikea employees, saying their membership was the “ greatest error of his life. ”

Ikea opened its initial store in Almhult, Sweden, within 1958.

Kamprad walked down as CEO in the past due 1980s. He continued to wield power as an adviser to the keeping company, and he designed an possession structure to ensure Ikea’ s long term survival and independence. An Ikea employee magazine in 2012 revealed that will his three sons had been given a lot more active roles at the closely kept company. In 2013, he relinquished his role as chairman of Inter Ikea Group.

“ Since 1988 Ingvar Kamprad failed to have an operational role within Ikea but he continued to help with the business in the role of older advisor, sharing his knowledge plus energy with the Ikea co-workers, " the company said on Sunday.

Kamprad ” was a excellent entrepreneur of the typical southern Swedish kind — hardworking and persistent, with a lot of warmth and a lively twinkle in his eye, ” Ikea said in the statement. ” He or she worked until the very end associated with his life, staying true to their own motto that most things remain to become done. ”