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IKEA

Ikea founder gives giant donation to hometown

Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad donated a gift to his hometown on Wednesday to the tune of 53 million kronor ($7.7 million). The cash is to be used for developing the area.

Ikea founder gives giant donation to hometown
Kamprad made the donation on Wednesday to a foundation in Agunnaryd, his hometown in southern Sweden. 
 
The money is planned to be used for rural development, and to encourage long-term living and working arrangements in the area.
 
Bengt Nilsson, chairman of the local board, was ecstatic with the news.
 
"This gives us a whole new range of possibilities to develop Agunnaryd," he told the Smålandsposten newspaper, adding that the sum was a huge amount for such a small town.
 
Indeed, the town only boasts a population of several hundred. 
 
"We're very proud of Ingvar Kamprad around here and we're of course very thankful that he thinks of his hometown like this," he continued.
The 87-year-old Swede hasn't lived in the area for decades, and only moved back to Sweden this year after spending forty years abroad. 
 
Kamprad was long ranked among the richest people in the world, with Forbes reporting that he was the 11th richest in 2010. This year, he ranked 367th with an estimated fortune of $4.1 billion. Kamprad announced in June last year that he was stepping down as chairman and handing over the reins to his son Matthias.
 
A little known fact about Ikea and Kamprad's hometown is that the word Ikea is an acronym for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd, the latter two words referring to the farm on which Kamprad was raised and the name of his hometown in southern Sweden. 

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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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