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IKEA

IKEA
Company nameIKEA International Group
Company typePrivate company
SloganA better night's sleep.
GenreRetail (Specialty)
FoundedÄlmhult, Småland, Sweden (1943)
Founder(s)Ingvar Kamprad
HeadquartersDelft, Netherlands
Area servedWorldwide
Key peopleMikael Ohlsson (Chairman and CEO)
Omar Gulay (President and CEO, Inter IKEA Group)
Sören Hansen (VP and CFO, Inter IKEA Group)
ProductsSelf-assembly furniture
Revenue(+) - 23.5 billion (2010)
Net income(+) - 2.7 billion (2010)
Employees127,000 (2010)

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IKEA is a privately held, international home products company that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture such as beds and desks, appliances and home accessories. The company is the world's largest furniture retailer. Founded in 1943 by 17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad in Sweden, the company is named as an acronym comprising the initials of the founder's name (Ingvar Kamprad), the farm where he grew up (Elmtaryd), and his home parish (Agunnaryd, in Småland, South Sweden).

The firm is known for the attention it gives to cost control, operational details and continuous product development, allowing it to lower its prices by an of average 2-3% over the decade to 2010, while continuing its global expansion.

The groups of companies that form IKEA are all controlled by INGKA Holding B.V., a Dutch corporation, which in turn is controlled by a tax-exempt, not-for-profit Dutch foundation. The intellectual property of IKEA is controlled by a series of obscure corporations that can be traced to the Netherlands Antilles and to the Interogo Foundation in Liechtenstein.

INGKA Holding B.V. owns the industrial group Swedwood, which sources the manufacturing of IKEA furniture, the sales companies that run IKEA stores, as well as purchasing and supply functions, and IKEA of Sweden, which is responsible for the design and development of products in the IKEA range. INGKA Holding B.V. is wholly owned by Stichting INGKA Foundation, which is a non-profit foundation registered in Leiden, Netherlands. The European logistics centre is located in Dortmund, Germany, and the Asian logistics centre is located in Singapore.

Inter IKEA Systems B.V. in Delft, also in the Netherlands, owns the IKEA concept and trademark, and there is a franchising agreement with every IKEA store in the world. The IKEA Group is the biggest franchisee of Inter IKEA Systems B.V. Inter IKEA Systems B.V. is not owned by INGKA Holding B.V., but by Inter IKEA Holding S.A. registered in Luxembourg, which in turn is controlled by the Interogo Foundation in Liechtenstein. Ingvar Kamprad has confirmed that this foundation is controlled by him and his family. The company which was originated in Småland, Sweden, distributes its products through its retail outlets. As of October 2010, the chain has 313 stores in 38 countries, most of them in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. The IKEA Group itself owns 276 stores in 25 countries and the other 37 stores are owned and run by franchisees outside the IKEA Group in 16 countries/territories. 2006 saw the opening of 16 new stores. A total of at least 15 openings or relocations are planned for 2010. On February 17, 2011, IKEA announced its plans for a wind farm in Dalarna County, Sweden, furthering the furniture giant's goal of running on 100 percent renewable energy.

In many languages, "IKEA" is pronounced -alliˈke.a, but in English it is pronounced similar to the word "idea," as -enaɪˈkiː.ə. As such, IKEA brought action in the Supreme Court of British Columbia successfully preventing a competitor in Victoria from using the name "Idea." Its Chinese name is " " (yíjiā), meaning "fit for home" in written Chinese, sounding like the phrase "right now" in Cantonese pronunciation.

The IKEA website contains about 12,000 products and is the closest representation of the entire IKEA range. There were over 470 million visitors to the IKEA websites in the year from Sep. 2007-Sep. 2008. The company is keen to show leadership in adopting more environmentally friendly manufacturing processes.


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