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INGVAR KAMPRAD

Ikea founder steps down from key board post

Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad is leaving one of his most influential roles with the furniture giant he started as a teenager in southern Sweden as World War II raged.

Ikea founder steps down from key board post

The move comes amid a number of changes to the board of Inter Ikea Group, the holding company that manages the Ikea brand, retailing concept, and franchising operations.

“I see this as a good time for me to leave the board of Inter Ikea Group. By that we are also taking another step in the generation shift that has been ongoing for some years,” the 87-year-old Kamprad said in a statement.

At the same time, Per Ludvigsson, the chairman of Inter Ikea Holding, the holding company of Inter Ikea Group, is stepping down with the Ikea founder’s youngest son, Mathias Kamprad, taking over.

The elder Kamprad said his son is “well-prepared” for the new assignment, and that, despite his decision to leave the board, he would remain engaged with the company he started in 1943.

“My passion and engagement for the many people, the Ikea concept, simplicity and cost consciousness is as strong as ever,” he said.

“I will continue to share ideas and views. And I will continue to spend time in the stores and in the factories to work with people and help achieve constant improvement. Our journey has just started.”

Ingvar Kamprad stepped down as CEO Ikea in 1986 and has lived in Switzerland since the 1970s, but has remained one of the most influential names in the Swedish business world for decades.

He still chairs the Dutch-registered Stiching Ingka Foundation, which controls Ikea Group and sits on the board of family-controlled Interogo Foundation in Liechtenstein, which in turn owns Inter Ikea Group.

His son Mathias, born in 1969, is the youngest of the founder’s three sons and also sits on the Interogo Foundation board.

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IKEA

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.

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