In 1943, Ingvar Kamprad founded IKEA as a mail-order sales business, and began to sell furniture five years later. The first store was opened in Älmhult, Småland, in 1958, under the name Möbel-IKÉA (Möbel means “furniture” in Swedish). The first stores outside Sweden were opened in Norway (1963) and Denmark (1969). The stores spread to other parts of Europe in the 1970s, with the first store outside Scandinavia opening in Switzerland (1973), followed by West Germany (1974).
Map of countries with IKEA stores
Legend: Current market locations Planned market locations No current or planned market locations
In 1973, the company’s West German executives accidentally opened a store in Konstanz instead of Koblenz[how?]. Later that decade, stores opened in other parts of the world, such as Japan (1974), Australia, Canada (1975), Hong Kong (1975), Singapore and The Netherlands (1978). IKEA further expanded in the 1980s, opening stores in countries such as France and Spain (1981), Belgium (1984), the United States (1985), the United Kingdom (1987), and Italy (1989). Germany, with 53 stores, is IKEA’s biggest market, followed by the United States, with 51 stores. The first IKEA store in Latin America opened on 17 February 2010 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. IKEA has announced that the opening of a 65,000 m2 (699,654.2 sq ft) store in Pasay, Philippines by the third or fourth quarter of 2021 is on track. Once opened, it will be the largest IKEA store in the world. In April 2021, IKEA opened its first store in Mexico in Mexico City.