As one of the most successful global brands, IKEA specialises in stylish, quality furniture at affordable prices. It has become synonymous with easy-to-assemble, flat-pack furniture. IKEA operates in 40 countries and has more than 300 locations worldwide.
IKEA has invested £80 million in the site and will be the retailers most sustainable store to date - aiming to achieve 100% renewable energy.
The store expects to receive a BREEAM ‘excellent’ accreditation and will incorporate a number of green technologies such as Solar PV panels on the roof, rainwater harvesting and ground source heating.
Electric vehicles (E.V.) will be used for home delivery, and IKEA will provide eight electric vehicle charging points on site.
IKEA will also create new cycle lanes around the store and will also provide six electric bike charging points. IKEA say they are working with local transport providers to improve existing transport links around the store.
The man behind IKEA
IKEA was founded by Ingvar Kamprad, who was born in Sweden in 1926. The brand’s name comes from his initials, and the places where he grew up.
Ingvar showed entrepreneurial talent from an early age. At just five years old he began selling matches for a profit. At 17, Ingvar’s father gave him some money, which he used to start a business – and so IKEA was born in 1943.
Ingvar continued to run IKEA until 2013, at which point his son took the helm. However, Ingvar still plays an active role in the business, visiting stores around the world.
In the beginning, IKEA sold everyday items like pens, jewellery, wallets and picture frames, transporting products by milk vans.
As popularity grew, IKEA diversified to sell furniture which was advertised in its first catalogue, produced in 1951. A couple of years later, customers could see these products for real in the first IKEA showroom.
Birth of flat-pack furniture
It wasn’t a conscious decision for IKEA to start producing its own furniture in 1956. It more arose from the fact that suppliers started boycotting the brand. Practical, flat-pack and self-assembly products at low prices became core features of the brand, which still holds true today.
The first IKEA home furnishings store opened its doors to the public in Sweden, in 1958.
IKEA launched new stores in other Scandinavian countries in the 1960s, branching into Europe in the 1970s. It ventured to the Far East in 1974, opening its first store in Japan, followed by a store in Australia a year later. The USA welcomed its first IKEA store in 1985, while Manchester was the first location for a UK store in 1987.
By 1991, IKEA employed more than 50,000 staff and had a presence in 29 countries, with 158 stores.
In 2010, the Swedish brand opened its first Latin American store in the Dominican Republic.
Despite being Swedish, IKEA’s current headquarters are in The Netherlands. The country that boasts the most IKEA stores to date is Germany, with 50 retail outlets, whilst the largest single store measuring 59,000 square feet resides in South Korea.
Over the years, IKEA has designed some standout products.
The Poang chair is one of IKEA’s most iconic designs, offering affordability, comfort and enduring appeal. The Billy bookcase is also one of IKEA’s most popular products – it’s claimed that one is sold every 10 seconds. Other favourites include the Malm storage bed and Kallax shelving.
If you’re planning a big trip to IKEA Exeter to add some stylish furniture to your home, don’t fret about trying to fit it all in your car. Hire a van from Simple Van Hire, and you can relax knowing that you’ve got ample space to transport your purchases home. For the months of May & June 2018 for all Devon & Cornwall stores we are offering a whopping 35% discount if a Valid IKEA receipt is shown at the end of rental..!!