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IKEA Founder Dies At 91 Years Old

IKEA Founder Dies At 91 Years Old”

He's the reason flat pack furniture, warehouse-style homewares stores and broken relationships over a single screw have become mainstays of the modern world, and now Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad has passed away. The company name was an acronym of his initials, the name of his farm, Elmtaryd, and his town of origin, Agunnaryd.

"He wanted to appear a man of the people, one of us", Stenebo wrote in a behind-the-scenes book, "The Truth About Ikea", released shortly after he left the company almost a decade ago. The company described him as a hardworking, dedicated man "with a lot of warmth and a playful twinkle in his eye".

"He worked until the very end of his life, staying true to his own motto that most things remain to be done", it added.

The first Ikea store was opened in 1958 and it became the largest furniture shop in Sweden at the time.

He founded Ikea in 1943 at age 17 with the money his father gave him as a reward for his stellar grades.

He got the idea when he watched an employee taking the legs off a table to fit it into a customer's auto and realised that it could be developed to save money on transport, storage and sales space.

"People have tried to reproduce and copy that, but unsuccessfully", he said.

Kamprad's close friend Bertil Torekull told the Swedish daily Aftonbladet that the industrialist died from pneumonia which he contracted after a visit overseas, aggravated by "the frailty of old age".

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Despite his wealth, Kamprad prided himself on being frugal, driving an old auto and encouraging staff to write on both sides of a sheet of paper to avoid waste.

The estate inventory filed to Swedish tax authorities in 2013 confirmed that the couple lived comfortably but hardly in opulence.

The book also contained details about his struggles with alcohol and his successes and failures in business.

"If you look at me now, I don't think I'm wearing anything that wasn't bought at a flea market", he said. "It means that I want to set a good example", he told Swedish channel TV4 in 2016.

A spokesman for Dutch-based Inter Ikea, one of the company's two divisions, said that the company had been taxed "in accordance with European Union rules".

In a 1998 book about the history of IKEA - which Kamprad co-authored - he admitted to an earlier report from Swedish daily Expressen that Kamprad was a supporter of Sweden's Fascist leader Per Engdahl in the 1940s.

Sweden was neutral in World War II, and its Nazi party remained active after 1945. Je accepted the allegation saying it was a mistake and a youthful stupidity.



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