Ten things you didn't know about Ikea
With yesterday’s news that furniture giant Ikea has reportedly identified a site in Exeter to create a new store we have a look at ten things you didn't now about the Swedish chain, including the fact it may not be Swedish after all....
Ten things you didn't know about Ikea:
It is commonly assumed that Ikea is a Swedish word, however it is actually an acronym for it’s creator Ingvar Kamprad. The letters stand for his initials, the initial for the farm he grew up in, Elmtaryd, and the town the farm was located in, Agunnaryd. So Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd.
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It started with a car
The inspiration for Ikea's build-it-yourself philosophy came about when Kampard was taking the legs off of a chair to fit it into a car. The founder was so irritated by the experience that he developed the concept of flat pack design. The novel packing method gained popularity as it allowed easier shopping for urban Europeans who depended on public transportation, as swell as lowering the company's shipping costs dramatically.
It is a big deal
The chain is the world’s largest furniture retailer with more than 301 stores and 30 franchised units. The largest market for the company is Germany with 44 stores followed by the United States with 37 stores. Sales volume of the privately held company is estimated at over $24 Billion.
It is not actually Swedish
Although the company was started in Sweden by founder Kamprad and despite the Swedish flag colours it is actually now registered in Holland.
Ikea is a global brand, popular across the world, with The Ikea catalogue printed in a total of 27 languages. Germans are Ikea’s biggest customers and it is estimated that 10% of all Europeans alive today were conceived on an IKEA bed.
They don’t only sell furniture
The company is not only the worlds largest furniture retailer but also now sells flat packed homes, the BoKlok houses were originally released in Sweden in 1996, and have since expanded to IKEA stores across Northern Europe. It is also famous for it’s food, especially meatballs, selling around a 150 million in 2011.
It is child friendly
Or at least parent friendly. As ,although it has not been stated if the Ikea Exeter store will include one, some outlets offer free playgrounds and beepers that can be used to contact the parent if needed.
The opening can be dangerous
As seen by yesterday’s reaction the opening of an Ikea can cause quite a stir but nothing can compare with the opening of the Edmonton store in 2005. Several people were hurt in the crush as thousands flocked to the midnight opening of Ikea. The store in Edmonton, north London, stayed open for just 30 minutes because of safety fears and five people had to be taken to hospital for treatment.
They have some giant shops
Ikea is famous for its large outlets, the five largest stores are: 552,000 square feet in Stockholm, Sweden. 494,000 square feet in Shanghai, China. 470,000 square feet in Shenyang, China. 457,000 square feet in Tianjin, China. 450,000 square feet in Berlin, Germany.
And finally...monkeys love it too
In December last year shoppers at an Ikea store in Toronto, Canada, were shocked to find a monkey dressed in a sheepskin jacket on the loose in the car park.
Darwin, who became an internet sensation, was taken in by Toronto Animal Services. See a video of the monkey below: