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24 Things You Didn't Know About IKEA

Updated September 23, 2021 61k views24 items

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.  
  • IKEA Meatballs Once Contained Horse Meat

    Photo: ReverseOlle / Wikimedia Commons

    In 2013, inspectors found traces of horse meat in frozen meatballs made for IKEA. The incident wasn't just isolated to IKEA, but actually part of a large-scale food scandal that swept Europe. IKEA quickly responded by withdrawing Swedish meatballs from markets and cafeterias all over Europe, according to The New York Times.

  • Photo: Viktor Karppinen / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
    As the website explains, it's "no accident that the IKEA logo is blue and yellow." They're the colors of the Swedish flag!
  • The First U.S. Store Ran Out of Merchandise

    Photo: Scott Lewis / flickr / CC-BY 2.0
    IKEA's first US store opened in a shopping mall outside of Philadelphia in 1985, according to Curbed. The crowds were so overwhelming that they had to close their doors while they restocked. They posted a sign that said, "IKEA is full. Please come back next week."
  • They Have Plans to Create Full IKEA Districts in Hamburg and London

    Photo: Marius Brede / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0
    In 2012, IKEA announced plans to build an entire city district from scratch in Hamburg, Germany. "The district, which will sit on approximately five acres of land, will resemble a typical city neighborhood with apartment buildings, office spaces, hotels, and shopping centers," the article said. And Germany isn't the only place the company has in mind. They're also looking to build some 1,200 homes and apartments in London that could house as many as 6,000 people.