IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad dies

Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of Swedish furniture giant IKEA, has died. He was 91.

The furniture giant said Kamprad passed away at his home in southern Sweden on Saturday.

"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," IKEA said in a press release.

"(He) was a great entrepreneur of the typical southern Swedish kind - hardworking and stubborn, with a lot of warmth and a playful twinkle in his eye.

"Ingvar will be very missed and warmly remembered by his family and IKEA colleagues around the world."

Founded in 1943 by Kamprad when he was a teen, 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.

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 30 billion euros ($A45 billion) and IKEA is now heading for 50 billion euros in annual revenues.

Reuters JEL