“People Say I Am Cheap, And I Don’t Mind If They Do” – Ingvar Kamprad. The retail world just lost a giant and a game-changer with the death of IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad, who passed away at the age of 91 on January 27th. He worked until the very end of his life, staying true to his own motto that “most things remain to be done”.
Ingvar started IKEA as a mail-order business in the tiny Swedish village in the 1940s, the company now boasts more than 300 stores around the world. He named his fledgling company after the “IK” of his initials, the “E” is for the modest farm he grew up on (Elmtaryd), and the “A” is for Agunnaryd, his home village.
Here are a few things about IKEA you may not have known…
1 – IKEA’s home goods are usually identified by Swedish names rather than product numbers. The practice started because Ingvar had dyslexia and was getting numerical codes confused.
2 – Navigating an IKEA can leave you feeling lost and fatigued. According to research conducted at the University College London, IKEA leads shoppers through a floor plan that resembles a maze so that you’ll be more likely to pick up impulse goods (like lamp shades or pillows), fearing that you won’t find them again.
3 – The reason IKEA’s assembly instructions aren’t printed with actual written information is because it would make the manuals thicker, and consequently more expensive to produce.
4 – Furniture is sold unassembled saving IKEA money and warehouse space, but, there’s another piece of logic behind it. According to a Harvard Business School study, people who had to labor to set up their new purchase perceived it to have greater value than people who didn’t have to do anything.
“We ought to have more women in various management positions, because women are the ones who decide almost everything in the home.” – Ingvar Kamprad
Image source: IKEA