Nov 152012

The History of IKEA – The Beginnings – How IKEA Spain Began

Our story is over sixty years old and charts the begining of IKEA and how the business grew from the forests of the south of Sweden to become a major retailer of furniture and household items in over 40 countries/territories of the world.

Our IKEA history lesson starts in 1926 when Ingvar Kamprad was born in Småland in south Sweden. He was brought up on a farm called Elmtaryd. The farm is near the village of Agunnaryd. Even as a young boy Ingvar Kamprad knew he wanted to start a business.

 ikea spain - Ingvar Kamprad

Ingvar Kamprad in the 20’s

By five Ingvar Kamprad was selling matches to his close neighbors and by the time he was seven, he was selling further afield, using his bike as transport. He found he could buy matches in bulk in Stockholm quite cheaply and sell them on one by one at a very low price, but still make a handsome profit. From matches he expanded to flower seeds, greeting cards, Christmas tree decorations, and later pencils and ball-point pens.

In 1943 The IKEA Business was started by Ingvar Kamprad

When Ingvar Kamprad turned 17, his father gave him some money as a reward for doing well at school and in the exams. He used this to start his own business. The name IKEA comes from Ingvar Kamprad’s  initials (I.K.) plus the first letters of Elmtaryd and Agunnaryd, the places where he grew up. IKEA only sold pens, wallets, picture frames, table runners, watches, jewellery and nylon stockings to start with. However he did quite well with this and the products were popular, being available and cheap.

In 1945 the first IKEA advertisements appear

IKEA quickly outgrew Ingvar Kamprads ability to make individual sales calls himself, so he was forced to start advertising in local newspapers. He began a hand to mouth makeshift mail-order operation and used the local milk van to deliver products to the nearby train station for deliveries further afield.

In 1948 the IKEA business started to sell furniture

Ingvar introduces furniture which is manufactured by local manufacturers in the forests closeby, to the IKEA range. Sales do very well and the furniture product line grows.

This article is to be continued…


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