Ikea chairman denies family financial feud

The chairman of the Swedish furniture giant has said reports of a bitter family row over money are "extremely distressing" amid reports that founder Ingvar Kamprad is at loggerheads with his sons over the flat pack brand's fortune.

Ikea chairman denies family financial feud

Claims in a new book,’Ikea Moving to the Future’ (Ikea på väg mot framtiden), about internal family friction have rocked the Kamprad family claims Göran Grosskopf, who is the chairman of the board of directors for the Ikea group.

He initially declined to comment on the findings in the book but has since added that the Kamprad family is “naturally extremely distressed and disappointed” over suggestions there is an internal power struggle.

“In all families there are conflicts of course but I do not know of any conflict which in any way affected the Ikea group,” Grosskopf told Dagens Industri.

The book penned by Lennart Dahlgren, the former head of Ikea in Russia, and researchers Stellan Björk and Karl von Schulzenheim claimed that Kamprad’s sons hired a star lawyer to dispute the family fortune. Founder Kamprad is estimated to have as much as €3.2 billion in net wealth.

As yet, the Kamprad family have yet to issue a statement on the book with Grosskopf saying the sons haven’t read the book in its entirety.

“They have not had the chance to read the whole book and I don’t know if they will comment on it when they have,” he said.

Grosskopf downplayed the reports in the book which claimed that the alleged familial battle led to Kamprad senior falling into bad health.

“From the excerpts I have read there isn’t much evidence,” he added.

Ingvar Kamprad,87, founded Ikea in 1943 establishing it into one of the largest retail giants in the world. He has resided in Switzerland since 1976 but announced in June that he intends to return to Sweden by the end of the year.

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Danish Ikea store shelters staff and customers overnight during snowstorm

Heavy snowfall left 31 people looking for a spare cushion at the Aalborg branch of Ikea on Wednesday as they were forced to spend the night at the store.

A file photo at Ikea in Aalborg, where 31 people stayed overnight during a snowstorm on December 1st 2021.
A file photo at Ikea in Aalborg, where 31 people stayed overnight during a snowstorm on December 1st 2021. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Anyone who has found themselves wandering the mazy aisles of an Ikea might be able to empathise with the sense of being lost in the furniture store for a seemingly indefinite time.

Such a feeling was probably more real than usual for six customers and 25 staff members who were forced to spend the night at the furniture giant’s Aalborg branch after being snowed in.

Heavy snow in North Jutland brought traffic to a standstill and halted public transport in parts of the region on Wednesday afternoon, resulting in a snow-in at Ikea.

“This is certainly a new situation for us,” Ikea Aalborg store manager Peter Elmose told local media Nordjyske, which first reported the story.

“It’s certainly not how I thought my day would end when I drove to work this morning,” Elmose added.

The 31 people gathered in the store’s restaurant area and planned to see Christmas television and football to pass the evening, the store’s manager reported to Nordjyske.

“Our kitchen staff have made sure there is hot chocolate, risalamande, pastries, soft drinks, coffee and the odd beer for us in light of the occasion. So we’ll be able to keep warm,” he said.

“We couldn’t just send them outside and lock the door behind them at our 8pm closing time. Absolutely not. So of course they’ll be staying here,” he added.

The temporary guests were given lodging in different departments of the store in view of the Covid-19 situation, Nordjyske writes.

“For us , the most important thing was to take care of each other and that everyone feels safe,” Elmose said.

At least Ikea’s stranded customers and staff had somewhere comfortable to lay their heads.

The same can unlikely be said for around 300 passengers at the city’s airport who had to stay overnight at the terminal.

The airport was forced to stop flights from 2:30pm yesterday amid worsening weather, which also prevented buses from transferring passengers to hotels.

“We have around 300 people in the terminal right now and have been giving out blankets on the assumption they will be staying here tonight,” Aalborg Airport operations manager Kim Bermann told Nordjyske.

READ ALSO: Ikea reopens in Denmark after country’s worst retail month this century