Swedish IKEA founder Kamprad dies at 91

Javier Stokes
January 29, 2018

The founder of iconic Swedish furniture chain Ikea died at home at age 91 on Sunday, the company announced.

According to BBC, the billionaire was born in 1926 and founded the Swedish furniture giant at the age of 17.

Kamprad's close friend Bertil Torekull told the Swedish daily Aftonbladet that the industrialist died from pneumonia which he contracted after a visit overseas, aggravated by "the frailty of old age".

"Ingvar will be very missed and warmly remembered by his family and Ikea colleagues around the world".

Mr Kamprad - who pioneered flat-pack furniture - died at his home in Småland, Ikea confirmed in a statement. "He worked until the..."

A statement from Ikea said that Kamprad had "peacefully passed away at his home".

Kamprad also wrote openly about his struggles with alcoholism over his lifetime. The entrepreneur found it hard to work with product codes, so instead the company developed names for every single product. The company started by selling christmas cards and pens via mail order.

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Revenues were more than 38 billion euros ($47.2 billion) a year ago and the IKEA annual catalogue is said to be more widely read than the Bible.

Kamprad returned to Sweden in 2014 after a reorganization of IKEA's complex ownership slashed his tax bill and left him with little formal influence.

"In its 2009 fiscal year, Ikea made $3.5 billion in profits on $30.2 billion in revenues". The lighting bulb moment came when he saw an employee taking the legs off a table to fit it into a customer's auto.

But Kamprad also infamously supported the fascists during World War II.

Ikea now sports 412 stores across 49 countries, branches that sprawl more than 400,000 square feet and feature model rooms stocked with Malm bed frames, Poang chairs, Billy bookcases and Ektorp sofas.

Almost two decades later, a book by Swedish journalist Elisabeth Asbrink extended the claims, linking Kamprad to a group that succeeded the country's swastika-flying National Socialist Workers Party.

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