King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden has issued a statement on 28 January 2018, following the death of IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad.

Photo: Alexis Daflos / Kungahuset.se

‘Ingvar Kamprad was a true entrepreneur who, through his life’s work IKEA, helped bring Sweden to the world.

‘He was a committed, down-to-earth person. Only this summer, The Queen and I had the privilege of working together with him on the matter of housing for the elderly.

‘My family and I would like to express our deepest condolences to Ingvar Kamprad’s family and friends.’

A statement from IKEA said Ingvar Kamprad died in his sleep from pneumonia, aged 91, at his home in Småland in Sweden on 27 January 2018, surrounded by loved ones.

Ingvar Kamprad was born at his family farm in Småland in southern Sweden on 30 March 1926.

He founded IKEA when he was 17, according to The New Yorker, at his uncle Ernest’s kitchen table in 1943, which started off mostly as a mail-order company.

However, customers were not always happy with their orders when they arrived.

IKEA Founder Ingvar Kamprad. Photo: IKEA

So Kamprad set up the first IKEA store in Älmhult in 1952, with a showroom so people could come and see the goods for sale.

IKEA’s vision is ‘To create a better everyday life for the many people.’

‘Our business idea is “to offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them”.

The pioneer of flat-pack furniture Ingvar Kamprad. Photo: IKEA

Soon the business expanded and opened its first store in Oslo, Norway, in 1963, and has branched out into 355 stores in 29 countries by 31 August 2017.

The first Australian store opened in Artarmon in Sydney in 1975.

The name comes from Mr Kamprad’s initials (IK), together with the name of the farm he grew up on, Elmtaryd (E), and the nearby village Agunnaryd (A).

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