IKEA founder at top of world rich list

IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad has moved from number six to number four on the list of the world’s dollar billionaires published annually by Forbes Magazine.

The founder and owner of IKEA is estimated to have a fortune worth 221 billion kronor ($21.5 billion).

Top of the list for the twelfth year in a row is American Bill Gates, founder and Chairman of Microsoft, with 396 billion kronor ($49.4 billion).

Only Gates, American Financier Warren Buffet with 332 billion kronor ($41.5 billion) and Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helu with 233 billion kronor ($30 billion) are worth more than Kamprad, according to the annual study.

Seven other Swedes are on the Forbes list, including H&M owner Stefan Persson (97 billion kronor, $12.1 billion) at number 32 and Sweden’s wealthiest woman, Birgit Rausing (68 billion kronor, $8.5 billion), widow to Tetra Pak founder Gad Rausing, at number 55.

According to Forbes, there are 793 dollar billionaires in the world. The total is up 15 percent from last year.

Swedish dollar billionaires

4. Ingvar Kamprad, 221 billion kronor ($21.5 billion)

32. Stefan Persson, 97 billion kronor ($12.1 billion)

55. Birgit Rausing, 68 billion kronor ($8.5 billion)

56. Hans Rausing, 67 billion kronor ($8.4 billion)

158. Antonia Ax:son Johnson, 43 billion kronor ($5.4 billion)

365. Fredrik Lundberg, 17 billion kronor ($2.1 billion)

451. Gustaf Douglas, 13 billion kronor ($1.6 billion)

512. Liselott Persson, 11 billion kronor ($1.4 billion)


Ikea will buy back your used furniture at up to half the price

In the run-up to what would in normal times be the festive season sales rush, Ikea has vowed to buy back used furniture from customers to resell – and pay up to 50 percent of the original price.

Ikea will buy back your used furniture at up to half the price
Got any pieces of Ikea furniture at home? You may be able to get rid of it and get money back. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Ikea, the world's largest furniture chain, said Tuesday it would begin buying back used furniture from customers to resell – and pay up to 50 percent of the original price.

The “Buy Back Friday” scheme, timed to coincide with the “Black Friday” pre-Christmas retail frenzy, will run from November 24th and until December 3rd in 27 countries.

“Rather than buy things you don't need this Black Friday, we want to help customers give their furniture a second life instead of making an impulse buy,” said Stefan Vanoverbeke, deputy retail operations manager at Ingka Group, Ikea's parent company.

To address concerns its affordable, flat-pack products encourage overconsumption and waste, the Swedish company had previously said it would start renting and recycling furniture as part of an eco-drive.

Under its buyback scheme, the group said that “anything that can't be resold will be recycled or donated to community projects to help those most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic”.

“Some countries like Australia and Canada for example are currently testing different buyback services, but BuyBack Friday will be the first time that 27 countries do this together,” the statement added.

The Swedish giant employs over 217,000 people and has more than 50 outlets. Its annual turnover is around 40 billion euros ($46 billion).

The group did not specify how it would determine the price paid for second-hand furniture and customers will receive a voucher, not cash, for their products.  

As part of efforts to reduce waste, Ikea has already begun repairing and re-packaging products in every store that have been damaged in transit, as well as allowing customers to return products – including furniture – for resale or donation to charities.