Ikea owner richest in Europe: report

Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad was ranked as Europe’s wealthiest man in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index on Monday, and the fifth richest man in the world.

Ikea owner richest in Europe: report

“Ingvar Kamprad is not interested in money and that is clear from the way he has structured the ownership of Ikea,” said Per Heggenes, of Stichting INGKA Foundation, a foundation that owns 90 percent of Ikea shares, to news network Bloomberg.

The Bloomberg Billionaires Index is a new daily ranking of the world’s richest people by the financial news corporation, and keeps tabs on the top 20, a list in which Kamprad is allegedly a reluctant member.

Kamprad refused to comment on the ranking, in which Bloomberg ranks Kamprad’s fortune as $40 billion.

According to the report, Ikea earned a net profit of $4 billion last year and a gross profit of $15 billion on $34 billion in sales.

Kamprad left Sweden in 1970 in order to keep the company private, as Swedish tax laws wouldn’t allow this at the time.

Bloomberg’s new index provides updated information accounting for the latest movements in the stock market. The list provides information and a transparent analysis of how each billionaire’s fortune was calculated.

Other billionaire heavyweights in the ranking include Carlos Slim (who topped the list at $68.5 billion), Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.

Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook notoriety did not make the list, despite a fortune estimated at $21 billion.

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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.