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Ingvar Kamprad Biography

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Ingvar Kamprad Biography : Founder of the furniture brand IKEA
Famous for : Creating one of the largest furniture retail chains in the world and being one of the worlds richest people.
Kamprad details : Born - March 30, 1926 Sweden Lives - Switzerland

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Ingvar Kamprad Bio

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Ingvar Kamprad founded IKEA, an international retailer of home furnishings that reinvented parts of the consumer market in the 1950s. Kamprad is also the chairman of the Stichting INGKA Foundation, a charitable foundation that also owns the parent company to IKEA. Although he is relatively private, Kamprad is well known as a successful entrepreneur and one of the wealthiest people in the world.

Born on March 30, 1926, Ingvar Feodor Kamprad grew up near Agunnaryd, Sweden on a small farm called Elmtaryd. As a young boy Kamprad developed a business buying matches at wholesale in Stockholm and selling them for a profit to his neighbors in the municipality of Ljungby. He realized he could still make a good profit even if he sold the matches at a considerable discount. The potential was enormous and Kamprad quickly grew his business to include Christmas decorations, seeds, fish, and pens and pencils.

At the age of 17, Kamprad's father gave him money as a reward for his success in school. Ingvar Kamprad used the money to fund a retail business named IKEA (an acronym that included his own initials plus those of the farm on which he grew up and the name of the nearby town of Agunnaryd). The original IKEA focused mostly on selling small household goods like wallets, picture frames, jewelry, nylon stockings and pens. Kamprad was focused on selling goods that consumers needed, but at a discount. He worked mostly on his own as a mobile retailer making individual sales calls.

In 1945, two years after starting IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad began advertising his business in local papers and using milk trucks to help deliver his goods. The trucks could not only deliver to homes, but also the local train station. By 1947 he expanded his business to include furniture by local manufacturers and within four years IKEA removed all other products from their catalog and focused primarily on furniture.

With pressure from competitors, Kamprad decided to open a furniture showroom in Almhult in 1953 to give consumers the ability to see and experience furniture prior to ordering. By 1955, however, furniture manufacturers began boycotting IKEA due to competitor pressure, forcing Kamprad to begin creating designs specifically for IKEA. Shortly thereafter, storage and prices drove the company to create furniture that consumers could assemble. Ingvar Kamprad was able to sell furniture for lower prices due to the money saved through cheaper storage and shipping.

Over the next few years, Ingvar Kamprad continued turning unique consumer needs into retail opportunities for his company. Although smaller stores opened a few years prior, Kamprad opened his first consumer retail warehouse in Stockholm in 1965 with an impressive 45,800 square feet of retail space. Within twenty years he expanded the store to countries around the world, finally expanding to over 114 stores in 25 countries worldwide.

The majority of IKEA stores are now owned by the privately operated Stichting INGKA Foundation, a charitable organization designed to promote architectural and design innovations. Kamprad acts as the founder and chairman of the foundation.

Kamprad is well known for his frugality despite his acquisition of properties and estates throughout Europe. Kamprad's public persona of frugality is part of his publicity for IKEA and a means to set an example for the employees of his company. In reality, Forbes has ranked Kamprad on the list of the world's wealthiest people for many years.

For a brief period in his life, Ingvar Kamprad was pro-Nazi and has since publicly apologized for his involvement and even wrote letters to employees acknowledging his mistakes.

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Ingvar Kamprad Quotes Ingvar Kamprad Quotes

Only those who are asleep make no mistakes.
Ingvar Kamprad - Mistakes

You can do so much in 10 minutes' time. Ten minutes, once gone, are gone for good.. Divide your life into 10-minute units and sacrifice as few of them as possible in meaningless activity.
Ingvar Kamprad - Time - Action - Life

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Ingvar Kamprad Biography - Life

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