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Joint Chambers' Visit to Ikea

2nd July 2024

Members of Midlothian & East Lothian Chamber, West Lothian Chamber and Fife Chamber of Commerce recently visited Ikea Edinburgh for a Networking Breakfast and Behind the Scene tour. Guests who attended have enjoyed the lovely breakfast and learned more about Ikea sustainability efforts. It's also great to network with businesses across the 3 Chambers. 

Ingvar Kamprad founded now global brand IKEA in 1943. Note the date, in the midst of the Second World War. The teenage entrepreneur started selling pens and wallets in a small town in his native Sweden. He was 17.

His father gave him a small sum of money as a reward for doing so well at school and he set-up a company and he started selling furniture in 1948, kick-starting the brand we all know today. His vision was to offer quality products at the best possible prices and his idea has become a cornerstone of the company culture. 

 IKEA expanded in Sweden between 1950   and 1959, opened in Denmark and Norway   between 1960 and 1969. Into the 1970s and they moved into countries   Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Kuwait, The   Netherlands, Singapore and Switzerland. And Ikea, named after the initials of   the founder, the farm called Elmtaryd where he grew up, and Agunnaryd, the   nearby village, moved to Edinburgh in 1999, Glasgow two years later and then Aberdeen in 2016.

These three stores north of the Border are now included in a global portfolio of 450 – including 282 in Europe, 18 in the Middle East and 82 in Asia -trading in 50 countries. Edinburgh is preparing to celebrate its 25th anniversary. The company website says: “We bring the IKEA brand to millions of homes, offering well-designed, functional, durable, affordable and sustainable home furnishing solutions to people with big dreams and then wallets.

 “We’re curious about the world around us,   and want to make a positive difference in people’s lives.” And their vision is: “To   create a better everyday life for the many people.”

 Chamber members saw and heard about the  values and processes used by   The Netherlands-headquartered company, and the founder says: “IKEA is not   the work of one person alone.

“It is the result of many minds and many souls working together through many hard years of joy and hard work.”

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