Ingvar Kamprad, founder of flat-pack furniture giant IKEA which has decorated millions of homes, died on Saturday at the age of 91 in his home in Smaland, Sweden, the company said. At the age of 17, Kamprad (pictured, holding the microphone) founded a company on the family farm under the name IKEA — an acronym combining his initials with the words Elmtaryd, the family farm, and Agunnaryd, the nearest village. His work ethic, ingenuity and thrift paid off when IKEA opened its first department store in 1958 in Almhult. During the 1960s and early 1970s, IKEA opened department stores in neighbouring Nordic and other European countries. Almost 50 years later, Bloomberg listed Kamprad as the 11th richest person on its 2017 billionaires index, estimating his wealth at $50.9 billion. At the end of August 2017, the IKEA Group, the biggest of IKEA’s 11 franchises, operated 355 stores in 29 countries and recorded sales of $40 billion for the fiscal year. His business philosophy was to offer a range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at affordable prices to maximum people. In a television documentary in 2017, Kamprad hoped IKEA will have a long life and never be listed on the bourse.
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