Ingvar Kamprad, the billionaire magnate who founded hit furniture chain IKEA, has died at the age of 91!
He founded the company at the age of 17, in the 1940s. The internationally acclaimed chain now has 412 stores in around 49 countries across the world!
The world’s best known retailer was named after his own initials. He also added the names of the place he grew up in, across the Swedish countryside.
IKEA sells flat-pack furniture that users have to put together from scratch. There are Billy shelves and Malm chests among other convenient items.
He was described as being ‘one of the greatest entrepreneurs of the 20th century,’ by the official company statement.
Kamprad suffered no pain and ‘peacefully passed away at his home’ on Saturday.
Torbjörn Lööf, the chief executive and president of Inter Ikea Group, expressed his deep condolences, saying, “We are deeply saddened by Ingvar’s passing.”
“We will remember his dedication and commitment to always side with the many people. To never give up, always try to become better and lead by example,” he added.
The late founder didn’t have a managerial role in the company. Rather, he served as an expert adviser since 1988.
He was estimated to be one of the world’s richest and most influential people. He accumulated a mind-blowing fortune of 610 billion Swedish Kronor, or £54 billion, according to reports by the Swedish media.
Kamprad had a reputation for being thrifty. He liked to penny pinch and could be found wearing secondhand clothes he bought at various flea markets.
His clever spending habits moved IKEA to the top, according to him.
“It’s in the nature of Småland to be thrifty,” he said in an earlier documentary released in 2016. He was referring to an agricultural region in Southern Sweden where he was born.
Nick Bubb, London-based retail analyst said, “He was famously mean, for someone so wealthy, but back in the 70s he certainly pioneered the concept of selling cheap but well-designed Scandinavian furniture to the mass market in warehouse stores.”
“And the global success of Ikea since then shows the power of the business model.”
The thrify businessman was married twice.
He moved to Denmark in 1973 and then shifted his operations to Switzerland to seek a lower tax bracket. He returned to Sweden in 2014.
Kamprad also previously faced questions about his involvement with Nazi groups. He admitted to the same in 1999 when he released a book about his life.
He called it ‘the biggest mistake’ of his life and apologized for his ‘stupidity’. He’d been attending meetings with Nazi groups between 1945 and 1948.
We hope he rests in peace and his legacy stays strong.