Ikea's founder Ingvar Kamprad dies, aged 91

The founder of Sweden's revolutionary furniture store Ikea, Ingvar Kamprad, has died at home in his sleep aged 91.

"The founder of IKEA and Ikano, and one of the greatest entrepreneurs of the 20th century, Ingvar Kamprad, has peacefully passed away, at his home in Smaland, Sweden, on the 27th of January," the multinational company announced.

Ikea confirmed its founder's death on Twitter, saying Kamprad was "quietly asleep in his home in Småland" when he died.

Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad, who died at his home aged 91. Source: Ikea

"Ingvar will be much missed by his family and warmly remembered and by the IKEA employees worldwide," the company said in the statement.

Kamprad was only 17 years old when he started Ikea in 1943. It has since grown to be one of the largest manufacturers and retailers of furniture and homewares in the world.

Ikea was known for its furniture but it now makes and stocks a gargantuan range of Scandinavian inspired home wares. Source: Getty

The company is known for its modernist designs that come "flat-packed" for assembly at home.

IKEA began developing its own furniture in the mid-1950s, popularising renowned Scandinavian design - sleek and functional - on an industrial scale and conquering first Europe and then North America before taking on the rest of the world.

Ikea operates 400 stores around the world, most recently opening in China. Source: Getty

He got the idea for flat-pack furniture as he watched an employee taking the legs off a table to fit it into a customer's car and realised that saving space meant saving money.

Kamprad has been previously ranked among the world's 20 richest people by Forbes magazine. His personal fortune was recently estimated at more than $A45 billion and IKEA is now heading for 50 billion euros in annual revenues.

Ikea has more than 400 stores operating around the world.

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