Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad dies

Ikea founder

The founder of one of the biggest and most successful furniture retailers in the world has died at the age of 91.

Ingvar Kamprad, who founded Swedish giant Ikea, has left a legacy of 389 stores worldwide after establishing the business in 1943.

He was just 17 at the time, using some money his father had given him as a gift for performing well at school despite his dyslexia.

The Ikea name comes from Kamprad’s initials, as well as the first letters of the farm he grew up on, Elmtaryd, and the nearby village Agunnaryd.

Kamprad remained with the company right up until 2013, when he stepped down from the board at the age of 87.

Ikea said the billionaire – who also known for pioneering flat-pack furniture – died peacefully at his home in Småland province, Sweden.

The company said that Kamprad was “one of the greatest entrepreneurs of the 20th century”.

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

It added: “Ingvar Kamprad was a great entrepreneur of the typical southern Swedish kind – hardworking and stubborn, with a lot of warmth and a playful twinkle in his eye.”

Ikea opened its first store in the UK in 1987, and it is in the process of building its 22nd store in the country in Greenwich, south-east London.

The company raked in a total of €36.4 billion (£30 billion) in total sales in 2016.

While Ikea has remained privately-owned under a Dutch trust operated by the Kamprad family, its complex business structure has attracted controversy and the European Commission has launched an investigation into its tax arrangements.

However, a spokesman for the retailer said it had been taxed “in accordance with EU rules”.

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