1943-07-28 to Present
SwedenIKEA is a Swedish-founded multinational group that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances and home products, among other useful goods and occasionally home services. It has been the world's largest furniture retailer since at least 2008. It was founded in Sweden in 1943 by 17-year-old carpenter Ingvar Kamprad, who was listed by Forbes in 2015 as one of the ten richest people in the world, worth more than $40 billion. The company's name is an acronym that consists of the initials of Ingvar Kamprad (name of founder), Elmtaryd (the farm where he grew up), and Agunnaryd (his hometown in Småland, southern Sweden).
In 2008, IKEA paired up with the makers of video game The Sims 2 to make a stuff pack called IKEA Home Stuff, featuring many IKEA products. It was released on 24 June 2008 in North America and 26 June 2008 in Europe. It is the second stuff pack with a major brand, the first being The Sims 2 H&M Fashion Stuff.
In August 2008, IKEA also announced that it had created IKEA GreenTech, a €50 million venture capital fund. Located in Lund (a university town in Sweden), it will invest in 8–10 companies in the coming five years with focus on solar panels, alternative light sources, product materials, energy efficiency and water saving and purification. The aim is to commercialise green technologies for sale in IKEA stores within 3–4 years.
In November 2008, a subway train decorated in IKEA style was introduced in Novosibirsk, Russia. Four cars were turned into a mobile showroom of the Swedish design. The redesigned train, which features colourful seats and fancy curtains, carried passengers until 6 June 2009.
In February 2013, IKEA announced it had pulled 17,000 portions of Swedish meatballs containing beef and pork from stores in Europe after testing in the Czech Republic found traces of horsemeat in the product. The company removed the Swedish meatballs from stores' shelves on 25 February 2013, but only made the announcement public after Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet uncovered what happened.
In June 2013, Ingvar Kamprad resigned from the board of Inter IKEA Holding SA and his youngest son Mathias Kamprad replaced Per Ludvigsson as the chairman of the holding company. Following his decision to step down, the 87-year-old founder explained, "I see this as a good time for me to leave the board of Inter IKEA Group. By that we are also taking another step in the generation shift that has been ongoing for some years."
Complaints arose from a group of consumers on IKEA's pricing policy in South Korea: the prices of certain products were higher than other countries. On 24 November 2014, Jang Duck-jin, head of the Fair Trade Commission's consumer policy bureau, told the media that the Commission was planning to commission a consumer group to compare IKEA's product prices by country.
In July 2015, IKEA, with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, through the company's Safer Homes Together advertising campaign, issued a warning in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Ireland to customers to secure the Malm chests of drawers and wardrobes firmly to the wall using free kits distributed by the company, after two deaths of young children in the U.S. in February and June 2014 when the furniture pieces tipped over on them.
On 12 July 2016, bowing to two weeks of rising pressure in China, IKEA announced that it was extending this recall to that country, which - along with Europe - was initially excluded from the recall. Over 29 million dressers have been recalled. IKEA has settled wrongful death lawsuits for over $50 million in compensation to the families of the three children who were killed.
In 12 September 2017, IKEA announced the augmented reality app, IKEA Place, following by Apple's release of its ARkit technology and iOS 11. IKEA Place helps consumers to visualize true to scale IKEA products into real environment.