That's a lot of rumors and opinions; here are the facts:
IKEA was started in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad when he was 17 years old. The
name is an acronym for Ingvar Kamprad, Elmtaryd, Agunnaryd,
where the last two are the name of the farm and the village where he grew
up. This is in Småland, Sweden, where people are rumored to be as cheap as
Scots. (Note: This is of course not true. It is just a way to stereotype people. )
The idea of the company has always been to provide cheap furniture by letting
the customers do a part of the job. They have one of the world's most complex
logistics systems and they know their supply chain theory. Their product
development, design and manufacturing work together in order to find the
best solutions. For instance, they are very focused on producing furniture that
can fit into flat boxes, which allow easier (cheaper) handling and
When it comes to the over 2000 suppliers and manufacturers of the furniture,
they are located in 56 different countries. 73% of these are in Europe, and
23% in Asia. This does not say anything about volumes from each continent
though. IKEA employs 50,000 people (42,000 in Europe, 5,900 North America and
1,500 Asia), not counting those working for suppliers.
Ties are forbidden in IKEA management. There are many stories about manager
prospects visiting the hq and being sent off because of their ties. The names
on the furniture are always Swedish. The same type of furniture have the same
type of name; sofas borrow their names from cities (Stockholm, Karlshamn)
and chairs usually have men's names.
IKEA is owned by the foundation Stichting Ingka Foundation in the
Netherlands and parent company in the IKEA Group is Ingka Holding B.V..
The IKEA concept is owned by Inter IKEA Systems B.V. in the Netherlands.
They sell the concept as a franchise to companies within and outside of the
IKEA Group. IKEA International A/S in Denmark runs the company, and they
employ the CEO Anders Dahlvig. Responsible for product development is the
company IKEA of Sweden AB in Sweden. They also handle all logistics. IKEA
owns some 30 sawmills and factories via the company Swedwood in 10
countries. They stand for approximately 10% of the supply for IKEA. Of the
almost 160 IKEA stores throughout the world, 19 are owned as independent
Big Scary Company with Monopoly
No one manufactures as much furniture as IKEA. Not by far. They can and will
kill any local competition by using their global position. I'm not saying
they're doing anything unethical - that's global capitalism for you - but the fact is that they have no
competitors on the global market.
Source: http://www.ikea.se except the last paragraph. If you don't hear from me in a while, I'm probably stuffed away in a Karlshamn package in an IKEA warehouse in Argentina.