My first IKEA experience was in 1988 while on a family trip to Alberta (don't ask my brother or sister about it, the only thing they'll remember is the pleasure of sharing the back seat of our Mercury Topaz) and one of the many places we stopped at was the West Edmonton Mall, which if I recall correctly wasn't too far from the IKEA store - which my Mom was not going to miss. We spent HOURS at the IKEA store. I thought it was cool place - I had never been to anyplace like it. And we left with a haul! We even had to buy a storage thing for the roof of the car. (Did I mention, we were driving a Topaz.)
Then fast forward to Guy's first IKEA experience, which was in 2004. He was going to be in Minneapolis for work so we had all come along and made a family trip of it. Well IKEA had just opened something like a few weeks prior to when we were there. I had been with the kids already but I wanted to get a few more things so I begged and pleaded with Guy that he just had to come to IKEA with me this time. He wasn't thrilled about it but he eventually caved : ) He thought if we went there first thing when they opened would be best. Yeah... right! Was it a Sunday morning, I think? We got through the Mall of America parking lot towards IKEA and they were directing traffic!! all the way to our parking spot!! Guy was in disbelief, he didn't get what the big deal was, why all these people would be coming in droves on a Sunday morning for this! Having people direct us where to go was great, couldn't imagine what it would have been like without them. Guy thought that was just crazy! Needless to say, the store was already bussling with shoppers. He doesn't like crowds so he wasn't thrilled to be there but he made the most of it ; )
To find out more about how IKEA went from the woods of southern Sweden to being a major retail experience in 40 countries/territories around the world, read IKEA history - how it all began.
1943 - IKEA is founded by Ingvar Kamprad
When Ingvar Kamprad is 17, his father gives him money as a reward for succeeding in his studies. He uses it to establish his own business. The name IKEA is formed from the founder's initials (I.K.) plus the first letters of Elmtaryd (E) and Agunnaryd (A), the farm and village where he grew up. IKEA originally sells pens, wallets, picture frames, table runners, watches, jewellery and nylon stockings - meeting needs with products at reduced prices.
1951 - The first IKEA catalogue is published
1956 - Designing furniture for flat packs and self-assembly
IKEA's decision to design its own furniture stems, ironically, from competitor pressure for suppliers to boycott IKEA. Exploration of flat packing begins when one of IKEA's first co-workers removes the legs of the LÖVET table so that it would fit into a car and avoid damaged during transit. After this discovery flat packs and self assembly become part of the concept.
1958 - The first IKEA store opens in Sweden
1976 - IKEA arrives in Canada
The first IKEA store opens in Vancouver.
1985 - IKEA arrives in the USA
The first IKEA store opens in Philadelphia.
1997 - IKEA on the web
The IKEA web site http://www.ikea.com/ is launched.
2000 - IKEA customers can shop online
E-shopping is launched in Sweden and Denmark. Since then many other markets have started offering online shopping at IKEA.
2012 - IKEA arrives in WINNIPEG!!!