World’s biggest IKEA store

IKEA, the Swedish furniture retailer has a reputation for selling quality do-it-yourself furniture and furnishings, all lovingly contorted in the flat pack boxes for ease of transportation.

Whilst IKEA certainly has its origins in Sweden, it is now a registered Dutch company that is controlled by a not-for-profit Dutch foundation which makes IKEA possibly the world’s biggest charity.

The Name IKEA is an acronym comprising the initials of the firm’s founder Ingvar Kamprad, the initial of the farm where he grew up, Elmtaryd, and the initial of his home parish, Agunnaryd.  IKEA is known for the size of its stores, and some of them are immense, but the biggest IKEA of all is, unsurprisingly, found in Sweden, at Skarholmen, which is just south of Stockholm.

At 55,200 square metres (594,000 sq ft) is it an enormous building.  The store sells about 12,000 different items, and as well as the shopping has children’s play areas and the famous IKEA restaurant where you can get some of the cheapest food in Sweden.

IKEA is a sort of Disneyland for do-it-yourselfers, and like Disneyland, the world’s largest IKEA has several hotels nearby so that you literally can shop ‘til you drop.

To get to IKEA from central Stockholm there is the train, and IKEA even runs a free bus.

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