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IKEA (/a?'ki??/; Swedish: [?²ke?a]) is a Swedish multinational group of companies that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture (such as beds, chairs and desks), appliances and home accessories. As of January 2008, it is the worlds largest furniture retailer. Founded in Sweden in 1943 by then-17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad, who was listed as one of the worlds richest people in 2013, the companys name is an acronym that consists of the initials of Ingvar Kamprad, Elmtaryd (the farm where he grew up), and Agunnaryd (his hometown in Småland, southern Sweden). The company is known for its modern architectural 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, corporate attributes that allowed IKEA to lower its prices by an average of two to three percent over the decade to 2010 during a period of global expansion. The IKEA group has a complex corporate structure, the purpose or one of the purposes of which may be to avoid tax, and is controlled by several foundations based in the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein. As of September 2016, IKEA owns and operates 389 stores in 48 countries. In fiscal year 2010, US$23.1 billion worth of goods were sold, a total that represented a 7.7 percent increase over 2009. The IKEA website contains about 12,000 products and is the closest representation of the entire IKEA range. There were over 470 million visitors to IKEAs websites in the year from September 2007 to September 2008. The company is responsible for approximately 1% of world commercial-product wood consumption, making it one of the largest users of wood in the retail sector. Ingvar Kamprad founded IKEA 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). 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).

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