IKEA is the largest retailer in the world. It was founded in 1943 by Ingvar Kampard, who was 17 years old at that time, in Sweden. Its blue and yellow logo can be seen in many countries around the world. As of October 2011, it has 332 stores in thirty-eight countries. But do you know these things about IKEA?

IKEA Chair

Fact 1: Where does the name IKEA come from?

IKEA is named after its founder (Ingvar Kampard), the farm he grew up in (Elmtaryd) and his home parish (Agunnaryd, in Småland, South Sweden). The name IKEA is formed from the initials of these names.

Fact 2: Why are the colours of IKEA blue and yellow?

The colours of the IKEA logo are blue and yellow – which are the colours of the Swedish flag. Most IKEA stores also have the same colours – very large blue buildings with yellow accents.

Fact 3: How are IKEA products named?

IKEA products have single word names, with many of Swedish or Scandinavian origin. Under the IKEA naming system, each range of products typically is named after a category of things. For example, dining tables and chairs are named after names of Finnish places; bathroom articles are named after Scandinavian lakes, rivers and bays; carpets are named after names of Danish places.

Fact 4: Where is IKEA’s largest store?

IKEA’s largest store is in Stockholm Kungens Kurva, Sweden, with a floor area of 55,200 square metres. The 2nd largest is in Shenyang, China, with an area of 47,000 square metres. The 3rd largest is in Malmö Svågertorp, Sweden at 44,000 square metres.

Fact 5: Which was the first store in each of the continents?

First store in Europe: Sweden – Älmhult (1958)

First store in Oceania: Australia – Artamon (1975)

First store in Asia: Hong Kong – Tsim Sha Tsui (1975)

First store in North America: Canada – Vancouver (Richmond) (1976)

First store in South America: Dominican Republic – Santo Domingo (2010)

Other interesting facts about first stores…

IKEA opened its first store in Japan (at Funabashi, Tokyo) only in 2006! This was even later than its first store in China (in Shanghai), which was opened in 1998. Surprisingly, the US did not get its first IKEA store only until 1985, relatively late.

Source: IKEA websites