An international retailer of home products, IKEA is a privately held retailer chain that sells flat pack furniture, bathroom and kitchen accessories all over the world. Founded in 1943, IKEA is an acronym. The name IKEA is derived from the initials of its founder Ingvar Kamprad, the farm where Ingvar grew up (Elmtaryd) and the home country of Ingvar (Agunnaryd, in Småland, South Sweden). IKEA is however owned by a foundation which is Dutch-registered and is owned by the Kamprad family.
The parent company of the group companies is INGKA Holding B.V. It is completely owned by Stichting INGKA Foundation. The foundation is a non-profit organization and is registered in Leiden, Netherlands. Inter IKEA Systems B.V. in Delft, Netherlands owns IKEA concept and trademark for all the IKEA stores across the world. Most of the stores of the company are concentrated in Europe, USA, Canada, Asia and Australia. The IKEA group also has existence in Israel and Middle East. IKEA originally started by selling picture frames, wallets, pens, watches, table runners, jewelry, and nylon stockings etc. Furniture was first added in the year 1948 and IKEA started manufacturing its own furniture since 1955.
All the stores of the company have a typical format in which the store rests inside a huge blue building with very few windows and have a one-way layout which enables the customers to have a complete look of the store. Some of the IKEA stores have restaurants which provide Swedish food and breakfasts at low prices. Some of the stores also have playgrounds for children between the age group of 4-7 years. These play areas are known as Småland and are free of charge!
The company has launched a loyalty card called the “IKEA FAMILY” that entitles the holder of the card, some special rebates on the selected items in IKEA stores and the restaurants. Since the IKEA group is owned by a non-profit organization, the profits of the IKEA group become non-taxable and the Kampard family enjoys the profit by a franchising relationship between Inter IKEA Systems and INGKA Holding.
IKEA has made major contributions in terms of charity, especially in cases of natural disaster. The company has also taken many steps for the betterment of the environment. Some of the measures taken by the company are elimination of PVC for packaging, minimizing the use of formaldehyde, using reusable plates, spoons and forks in the IKEA store restaurants. IKEA charged $1 extra for plastic bags as against no charge for paper bags or no bags at all. The company is one of the most recognizable names in the household products sector and continues to enjoy a high position in the market.
·IKEA made a contribution of €1 to UNICEF for every single soft toy sold during the holiday season of 2006. The amount contributed was €1.75 million.
·The IKEA group employs 118,000 people around the globe.
·IKEA retail chain has 278 stores in 36 countries.
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