A dinner conversation about IKEA Food
Three IKEA Food veterans meet over hot dogs, plant balls and other yummy IKEA classics. Jan Kjellman, Miriam Swärdh and Michael La Cour talk about the past, present and future – sharing stories about everything from the first IKEA restaurant in 1960, to the Swedish food market and food becoming an integral part of the IKEA identity.
A new compass
In the mid-1990s, IKEA was rocked by accusations of child labour. At the time the company was the world’s largest furniture retailer, with almost 100 stores in 17 countries, and production in 70. As success for IKEA increased, so too did the media’s scrutiny. Revelations of child labour would lead to a new compass – cooperation with UNICEF and Save the Children, and codes of conduct on everything from child labour to environmental impact.
Swedish manufacturers did not have the capacity to meet Ingvar Kamprad’s demand. And a lot of the Swedish suppliers were also boycotting IKEA. So Ingvar decided to look for suppliers beyond Sweden. He had already begun working with Danish designers and manufacturers, but now it was time to turn towards Poland.
Everything falls apart
Before 1989, production behind the Iron Curtain was a cornerstone of the long-term purchasing strategy at IKEA. Ingvar Kamprad came here back in the 1960s when he was boycotted by furniture makers and the sector as a whole in Sweden. Planned economies like Poland had raw materials at low prices, as well as state-owned factories with great capacity and a need to do business with the West, as eastern currencies could not be used in the West or exchanged for dollars. IKEA made major investments in run-down factories, installed machinery and spare parts, and built up skills. So what happened when the Iron Curtain suddenly fell?
First store abroad
IKEA went international and opened a store in Norway. But how did that decision come about? Through a combination of planning, business and instinct. And a pinch of Norwegian anger.
IKEA dot com
Travel back in time and see what the IKEA website looked like in 1998. Step inside our time capsule – a kind of condensed 1990s – and surf around.
Ingvar in America
In the early 1960s, Ingvar Kamprad started planning for further expansion of IKEA in Scandinavia and the wider world. But before focusing on the company’s journey, he wanted to broaden his own horizons. He went to the US to learn everything he could about distribution. But could the Americans really impress a man from Agunnaryd?
The great expansion
Browse an interactive map to get an overview of the global expansion of IKEA. Starting in the 1950s, IKEA built stores and made business all over the world.