24 Things You Didn't Know About IKEA

You already know IKEA makes the best meatballs, but do you know how many they sell a year? Or how much of the world's wood they use to create those BILLY bookcases we love so much? Or even how they got their name? Well pull up a minimalist Swedish reading chair and check out this list of interesting IKEA facts.

Ingvar Kamprad founded IKEA in 1943 as just a small mail-order business that sold pencils and postcards. The company now has over 300 stores in 41 countries, and sells not only your favorite meatballs, but also ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances, even decorative art. But these are all things you already know. So how about the IKEA statistics you don't know?

It's time to put down that IKEA instruction sheet (you don't understand it anyway) and get scrolling through this list of IKEA corporate facts and information you've been dying to learn.  
  • They Can Sell 150 Million Meatballs in a Year

    Photo: flickr / CC0
    According to The Wall Street Journal, IKEA can dish out around 150 million meatballs in its store cafeterias in a year.
  • IKEA Was the First Company to Feature a Gay Couple in Their Ads

    Photo: YouTube
    According to Bustle, IKEA was breaking familial molds way back in 1994. The company ran the first mainstream commercial featuring a gay couple ever. And they didn't just include a same sex duo. The campaign also featured other groups that are sometimes stigmatized or ignored by commercial media: adoptive parents, divorced mothers, single people, etc.
  • They Use 1% of the World's Wood

    Photo: Andrew Dinham / flickr / CC-BY 2.0
    As reported by Daily Mail, "The Swedish conglomerate needs about 1% of the world’s wood supply to make the furniture sold in its roughly 300 global stores."
  • Cafeterias Were Included So You Wouldn't Shop Hungry

    Photo: Daniel Lee / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
    According to The Wall Street Journal, IKEA began incorporating cafeterias into their stores out of Ingvar Kamprad's fear that "too many shoppers were browsing the company's shelves on empty stomachs." It's no good seeing your customers flee to the nearest McDonald's before making a purchase.