IKEA was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943 as a mostly mail-order sales business. It began to sell furniture five years later. The first Möbel-IKÉA store was opened in Älmhult, Småland, in 1958 (Möbel means “furniture” in Swedish).

How It Was Expanded?
The first stores outside Sweden were opened in Norway (1963) and Denmark (1969). The stores spread to other parts of Europe in the 1970s, with the first store outside Scandinavia opening in Switzerland (1973), followed by West Germany (1974).
Amid a high level of success, the company’s West German executives accidentally opened a store in Konstanz in 1973 instead of Koblenz. Later that decade, stores opened in other parts of the world, such as Japan (1974), Australia, Canada, Hong Kong (1975), and Singapore (1978). IKEA further expanded in the 1980s, opening stores in countries such as France and Spain (1981), Belgium (1984) the United States (1985), the United Kingdom (1987), and Italy (1989). The company later expanded into more countries in the 1990s and 2000s. Germany, with 50 stores, is IKEA’s biggest market, followed by the United States, with 46 stores. At the end of the 2009 financial year, the IKEA group operated 267 stores in 25 countries. The first IKEA store in Latin America opened on 17 February 2010 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. As of July 2013, the company’s presence in developing countries remains minimal.
The world’s five largest IKEA stores are:
1. Gwangmyeong, Gyeonggi, South Korea:
2. Stockholm Kungens Kurva, Sweden:
3. Shanghai Baoshan, China:
4. Goyang, Gyeonggi, South Korea:
5. Shanghai Pudong Beicai, China:
List of countries with IKEA stores
IKEA has 400 stores around the world. Among the countries that have double-digit IKEA stores are:
• Canada
• China
• Australia
• France
• Germany
• Italy
• Netherlands
• Russia
• Saudi Arabia
• Spain
• Sweden
• United Kingdom
• United States
• Romania
(Source: www.Ikea.com)
What it sells?
• IKEA is a privately-held, international home products retailer.
• It sells low-price products, including furniture, bathrooms and kitchen accessories.
• The customer has to assemble many of the products.
• 355 stores in 29 IKEA group countries (mostly Europe) only 30 stores are run by franchisees outside of the Ingka Holding.
• Ikea website contains about 12000 products & in 2006 there were 260 million visitors to its website
• Employs 104,000 people (2006).

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