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The IKEA Concept

A man on a cargo bike loaded with IKEA packages.

Doing it a different way

We constantly ask: Is there a better way? That’s how the IKEA home furnishings offer remains unique and how we try to make everyday life better for the many people.

IKEA was founded in Älmhult, Sweden, but is now a global company. The IKEA logo is yellow and blue, like the Swedish flag.

The idea

The IKEA Concept starts with the idea of providing a range of home furnishing products that are affordable to the many people, not just the few. It is achieved by combining function, quality, design and value - always with sustainability in mind. The IKEA Concept exists in every part of our company, from design, sourcing, packing and distributing through to our business model. Our aim is to help more people live a better life at home.

Bringing the IKEA Concept to life
The IKEA Concept comes to life in many ways: Through our worldwide stores, in the IKEA catalogue, via the web and apps, and most importantly in millions of homes around the world.

Our heritage

Today, IKEA reaches millions of hearts and homes all over the world, but every success story has to start somewhere. Did you know that IKEA once was as a tiny business in Älmhult, a small Swedish village in the countryside, selling through a mail-order catalogue? And that the IKEA headquarters for design are still located there? Here’s our story.


The IKEA design headquarters are situated in Småland, in the middle of a beautiful landscape with forests, meadows and lakes.

Our roots

Ingvar Kamprad founded IKEA in 1943 at the age of 17, selling household goods like pens, wallets and picture frames. Småland, the landscape where Ingvar grew up, was stony and rugged. Back then, many of the inhabitants had to get by with small means, making as much as possible with next to nothing. Because of this, Smålanders are said to be thrifty and innovative, with a “no-nonsense” approach to everyday problem-solving. This heritage is one explanation for the IKEA way of doing things and to our success.

The development of the IKEA logo over the years:

This is how the IKEA logo has developed over the years, from 1951 until today.

Did you know?

IKEA is named after the initials of founder Ingvar Kamprad, Elmtaryd, the farm on which he grew up, and Agunnaryd, the nearby village.

The very first IKEA catalogue was published in 1951.

The IKEA catalogue

Because Älmhult, the town where IKEA was founded, is in a rather remote area of Sweden, it was difficult to reach potential customers in the bigger cities. Due to this, the IKEA catalogue was born in 1951, and Ingvar had already decided IKEA should sell good furniture at low prices.

IKEA was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943. His business idea was to offer beautiful, functional design products at low prices.

“Why are beautiful products only made for a few buyers? It must be possible to offer good design and function at low prices.”

– Ingvar Kamprad

The very first IKEA showroom in Älmhult.

The first IKEA showroom

The prices in the first IKEA catalogue were so low that people were initially sceptical about the quality of the products, so Ingvar decided to convert an old workshop in Älmhult into a showroom where people could look at and try products before ordering.

How the flat-pack idea was born

Mail order distribution of bulky furniture was difficult and expensive, and products often got damaged. In 1956 we got the idea to take the legs off the LÖVET table, which led to the idea of self-assembly and flat packing.

Today LÖVET is back at IKEA, now named LÖVBACKEN. A little table that contributed to a great idea.

We love challenges!

Throughout our history, our best ideas have come from our biggest challenges, and we believe this is what makes us different. Today, IKEA is one of the most well-known home furnishing brands in the world and, if we include the many thousands employed by our suppliers, around one million people are working with us to make our vision to create a better everyday life for the many people become reality. And this is just the beginning. Like Ingvar Kamprad used to say, “Most things still remain to be done. A glorious future!”


IKEA is a brand with operations all over the globe, and a large part of IKEA products are made from wood.

One brand – many companies

Our brand represents the sum of everything that we say and do. It links all IKEA retailers and other IKEA businesses together.

Reaching the many people with our products can be a challenge, that’s why we work with a business format called franchising. Our franchise system allows for international expansion while protecting the IKEA Concept. Inter IKEA Systems B.V. is the IKEA franchisor who continuously develops the IKEA Concept and ensures its implementation in all markets. The franchisees run the day-to-day retail business and pay a franchise fee to do so.

IKEA is one brand, but consists of many different companies and franchisees.

Our franchising system

Inter IKEA Systems B.V. is the owner of the IKEA Concept and worldwide IKEA franchisor, and they have assigned other IKEA companies to develop range, supply and communication. Together with IKEA franchisees, we improve and develop IKEA to be more relevant and inspiring.

The list refers, in a simplified way, to companies/groups of companies operating IKEA retail businesses in one or more markets. The listed names do not represent the legal company name of the franchisee companies that have entered into franchise agreements with Inter IKEA Systems B.V.

Image:
IKEA franchisees
*INGKA refers to INGKA Holding B.V. and its controlled entities.