IKEA ( eye-KEE-ə, Swedish: [ɪˈkêːa]) is a Swedish/Dutch multinational conglomerate that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances, decoration, home accessories, and various other goods and home services. Started in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad and currently headquartered in the Netherlands, IKEA has been the world's largest furniture retailer since 2008. The brand used by the group is derived from an acronym that consists of the founder's initials, and those of Elmtaryd, the family farm where he was born, and the nearby village Agunnaryd (his hometown in Småland, southern Sweden).The group is primarily known for its modernist furniture designs, its simple approach to interior design, and its immersive shopping concept, based around a showroom of decorated room settings, in which customers can interact with the available articles onsite. In addition, the firm is known for its attention to cost control and continuous product development, notably, the ready-to-assemble model of furniture sales, and other elements which have allowed IKEA to establish lower prices than its competitors.
As of March 2021, there are 422 IKEA stores operating in 50 countries and in fiscal year 2018, €38.8 billion (US$44.6 billion) worth of IKEA goods were sold. For multiple reasons, including lowering taxes payable, IKEA uses a complicated corporate structure. Within this structure, all IKEA stores are operated under franchise from Inter IKEA Systems B.V. which handles branding, design, manufacturing, and supply. Another part of the IKEA group, Ingka Group, operates the majority of IKEA stores as a franchisee and pays royalties to Inter IKEA Systems B.V. Some IKEA stores are also operated by independent franchisees.The IKEA website contains about 12,000 products and there were over 2.1 billion visitors to IKEA's websites in the year from September 2015 to August 2016.The group is responsible for approximately 1% of world commercial-product wood consumption, making it the largest individual user of wood in the world. IKEA claims to use 99.5% recycled or FSC-certified wood. However, IKEA has been shown to be involved in unsustainable and most likely illegal logging of old-growth and protected forests in multiple Eastern European countries in recent years.