National Geographic Channel

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MEGA FACTORIES: IKEA

IKEA began in Smaland, Sweden. In 1943, at the age of 17, Ingvar Kamprad sold matchboxes, pens and small furniture. He named the company “IKEA” an acronym for his first and last name and the farm and village where he spent his childhood. He made deliveries with his bicycle and later joined forces with the local milk truck. His efficient approach kept prices affordable.

Over 500 million customers visit an IKEA each year, making it the world’s largest furniture provider.

IKEA has almost 300 stores in 36 countries and 42 distribution centres in 18 countries and over 1000 suppliers.

It takes five factories across Europe to manufacture IKEA’s 10,000 item product line.

IKEA delivers over 250 million cubic metres of products each year.

Zbaszynek, Poland is home to the company’s largest wood production plant. Associates create 30 million tables, desks and wardrobes each year.

In nearby, Nowe Skalmierzyce, COM 40, an IKEA Supplier, builds 3,000 upholstered pieces of furniture daily, including 900 Ektorp sofas.

IKEA has sold over 40 million Billy Bookcases in the last three decades. Every week, IKEA’s automated manufacturing line creates 130,000 Billy bookshelves. Robots produce 10,000 bookcases daily.
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