IKEA is a Swedish multinational conglomerate that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances and home accessories, among other useful goods and occasionally home services. Founded in Sweden in 1943 by 17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad, IKEA has been the world's largest furniture retailer since 2008. The brand used by the group is an acronym that consists of the founder's initials, and those of Elmtaryd, the family farm where he was born, and the nearby village Agunnaryd.
The group is known for its modernist designs for various types of appliances and furniture, and its interior design work is often associated with an eco-friendly simplicity. In addition, the firm is known for its attention to cost control, operational details, and continuous product development that has allowed IKEA to lower its prices by an average of two to three percent.
The IKEA group has a complex corporate structure, which members of the European Parliament have alleged was designed to avoid over €1 billion in tax payments over the 2009–2014 period. It is controlled by several foundations based in the Netherlands and Liechtenstein.
INGKA Holding B.V., based in the Netherlands, owns the IKEA Group which takes care of the centers, retails, customer fulfillment, and all the other services related to IKEA products. At the same time, the IKEA brand is owned and managed by Inter IKEA Systems B.V., based in the Netherlands, owned by Inter IKEA Holding B.V. Inter IKEA Holding is also in charge of design, manufacturing and supply of IKEA products. IKEA Group is a franchisee that pays 3% of royalties to Inter IKEA Systems. For purposes of accounting and taxation, the IKEA Group and the Inter IKEA Group claim that they are unrelated parties. However, they are both controlled by the Kamprad family and close associates of the family.