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Here’s What IKEA Looked Like When the First Store Opened in 1958

It has really come a long way.

Ikea vintage photoCourtesy Ikea

The beginning

Ingvar Kamprad actually started IKEA in 1943 initially selling miscellaneous small trinkets like pens, wallets, picture frames, and watches. He used money that his father gave him as a reward for doing well in school to buy items in bulk and sell them for fair prices while still making a profit. If you're wondering how the store got its name, here's the story.

IKEA offered Reader’s Digest a few photos of what the very first store looked like. You get a small glimpse into how it used to run and how much the exterior has changed over the years.

vintage ikea store exteriorCourtesy Ikea

The first store

It wasn’t until 1948 that Ingvar decided to start producing furniture. The small line of pieces they introduced was a huge success and he decided to expand the business and start selling furniture on a larger scale using a catalog. Ten years after that, in 1958, IKEA opened its first ever store in Älmhult, Sweden. When it first opened, it was the largest furniture display in Scandinavia.

vintage ikea storeCourtesy Ikea

A success from the start

Within a year of the store opening, IKEA had already hired over 100 employees. Today, their uniforms are a little less formal. This is how IKEA products got their crazy sounding names.

vintage ikeaCourtesy Ikea

Taking over the world

Due to the success of the first store, IKEA’s began popping up all over the world. Their first international store opened in Norway in 1963. From there, stores opened up in Switzerland (1973), Germany (1974), Australia (1975), France (1981), the United States (1985), the United Kingdom (1987), China (1998), and Russia (2000). Now that you know what the first store looked like, check out these weird things you never knew about IKEA.