Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of Ikea, passed away in his home in Sweden. He was 91 years old and founded Ikea as a 17-year-old in 1943.
According to CNN, after creating the company at age 17, Kamprad grew the company over the following decades into a popular global grand, with 355 stores in 29 different countries. The stores were stocked with furniture, kitchen appliances, home accessories, and more. Due to the immense popularity of his business, Kamrad was one of the richest people in the world, ranking number 8 on the Bloomberg Billionaire's Index, with an estimated net worth of $58.7 billion.
Financial success aside, Idea had a global revenue of 36.3 billion euros, totaling about $45 billion dollars, in 2017 alone. He was also known as a compassionate businessman, always eager to provide his workers with beneficial conditions and benefits. According to CNN, the company that Kamprad led until 1986 was regularly featured on the list of best employers because it offered such incredible perks and attractive working conditions to employees.
Kamprad developed a love for retail at an early age. Apparently, his involvement in the industry began at a very early age when he began selling matches in his neighborhood at the young age of five. Then, once he got a bit older, he began to use his bicycle to venture further to search for newer customers. He then began selling seed, greeting cards, and Christmas decorations. Eventually, he would branch out to pencils and ballpoint pens.
What CNN calls the "darker" side to his career came in the mid-twentieth century when, for a brief period of time, Kamprad flirted with fascism and attended Nazi groups led by Swedish right-wing activists immediately after the beginning of the Second World War.
In 1994, the businessman issued a public apology and claimed that he profoundly regrets that he attended those meeting. What convinced him to attend those meetings, he said, was the vehement anti-communism of those putting them together. This anti-communism, he implied, he doesn't at all regret holding dear to him. But he did regret the authoritarian meetings that his anti-communism led him into.
The company also had several other controversies. In 2012, for instance, they apologized for using forced labor in East Germany during the 1980s. And last that year, the European Commission launched an investigation into Ikea's tax dealings in the Netherlands, according to BBC News.
Kamprad will be very missed by his family and friends. He was renowned for his frugality, reportedly driving a very simple car and always traveling by economy class. In an interview with Swedish television, the businessman remarked that it is in his nature to "be thrifty." He also mentioned that he doesn't wear anything that isn't "bought at a flea market."
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