Thought Catalog
March 7, 2014

19 Things You Didn’t Know About IKEA

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image - Christian Koehn
image – Christian Koehn

1. IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad is one of the richest individuals on earth. He is the fourth wealthiest person in the world, with his fortunes estimated at $51.7 billion.

2. He is also dyslexic, which is why the furniture is named and not numbered.

3. Kamprad was involved in the Swedish Nazi Movement. He called it the “biggest mistake of [his] life,” and donated £1 billion to charity.

image - Flickr / Marco Raaphorst
image – Flickr / Marco Raaphorst

4. IKEA was accused of cultural imperialism for naming cheap rugs after cities in Denmark and more expensive items after cities in Sweden.

5. IKEA allegedly ran the first advertisement to feature a homosexual couple on television.

6. The name IKEA is an acronym: Ingvar Kamprad, Elmtaryd (the farm where he grew up), and Agunnaryd (his hometown in Småland, south Sweden).

7. The Daily Mail estimated that IKEA used approximately 1% of the world’s wood in 2013.

8. Approximately 208 million IKEA catalogs were printed in 2013 — that’s double the number of bibles printed that year.

9. A 2004 opening of IKEA in Saudi Arabia led to the death of three people. They were trampled to death.

10. Four out of the five largest IKEAs are located in China. The biggest is in Sweden, at 594,000 sq ft.

image - Flickr / kalleboo
image – Flickr / kalleboo

11. IKEA has their own dictionary dedicated to naming their products.

12. There was a monkey in IKEA.

13. In 2007, the construction of an IKEA in Chang’an destroyed 1,800-year-old tombs — 10, to be precise.

14. IKEA admitted that they used forced labor in the 1980s, which helped them keep their prices low.

15. Graphic designers and typographers threw a shitfit when IKEA decided to change their typeface from Futura to Verdana.

16. IKEA loves cats.

17. IKEA’s expansion into Russia and China has allowed its revenue to grow 3.1%, leading to $37.9 billion in revenue in 2013.

18. Their commercial, “Lamp” directed by Spike Jonze won Grand Clio, Golds at the London International Awards, the ANDY Awards, and the Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, the most prestigious awards ceremony in the advertising community.

19. There was a “soap opera” filmed in an IKEA. TC mark

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