(p. A9) To encourage frugality in his workers, Mr. Kamprad was happy to offer himself as an example. He was known for reusing tea bags, flying economy class and taking public transport to airports. Even as a billionaire, he dickered over vegetable prices at farmers markets.
“Wasting resources is a mortal sin at IKEA,” he wrote in a guidebook for employees. “We do not need fancy cars, posh titles, tailor-made uniforms or other status symbols.”
He knew about global supply chains long before they were the norm. Rival retailers in the 1950s pressured Swedish furniture makers into boycotting the disruptive IKEA. So Mr. Kamprad visited Poland in the early 1960s and found primitive factories that, with training and tools from the Swedes, could make wooden furniture at much lower prices. (One problem: Some trees harvested in Poland still contained bullets from World War II.) Poland and China became two of the company’s main suppliers.
. . .
He assured his employees they had a noble mission: helping the masses afford comfortably furnished homes.
For the full obituary, see:
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the obituary has the date Feb. 2, 2018, and has the title “Ingvar Kamprad Made IKEA a Global Retailer by Keeping It Simple.”)