IKEA is a brand comprising two separate owners. INGKA Holding B.V. owns the IKEA Group, the holding group. At the same time, that is held by the Stichting INGKA Foundation, which is the owner of the whole Group. Thus, IKEA Group is a franchisee that pays 3% royalties to Inter IKEA Systems.
IKEA Group, the retailer vs. Inter IKEA Systems, the worldwide franchisor
Put it shortly, IKEA as a brand comprises two separate owners. INGKA Holding B.V. owns the IKEA Group, the holding group.
At the same time, that is held by the Stichting INGKA Foundation, which owns the whole Group. IKEA Group is not the owner of the brand; managed by Inter IKEA Systems B.V., part of Inter IKEA B.V., which owns the IKEA Concept.
Thus, IKEA Group is a franchisee that pays 3% of royalties to Inter IKEA Systems.
More in detail.
The IKEA organization is peculiar.
While many believe that IKEA as a concept and IKEA as a store are owned, operated, and run by the same people.
In reality, the organization of this company is way more complicated.
At this stage, it is critical to make a distinction between two entities: the IKEA Group, run by INGKA Holding B.V., and the IKEA worldwide franchisor, run by Inter IKEA Systems B.V.
While the IKEA Group takes care of the centers, retail, customer fulfillment, and all the other services related to IKEA products.
Inter IKEA Systems B.V., the owner of the IKEA Concept and the worldwide franchisor of IKEA stores, takes care of the processes, distribution of products, training of its staff, and other related activities in line with the franchising agreements.
Inter IKEA and IKEA Group have separate owners and logic of business:
- IKEA Group, which runs IKEA stores, is the franchisee and is owned by a holding called INGKA Holding B.V., which in turn is owned by the foundation Stichting INGKA.
- Inter IKEA Systems, owner of the IKEA Concept, which is the worldwide franchisor and owned by Inter IKEA Holding B.V.
Let’s dive more into IKEA’s unusual ownership structure.
IKEA Group Holding’s ownership structure
The INGKA Holding B.V. is the holding of the group. At the same time, this is owned by the Stichting INGKA Foundation, which is the owner of the IKEA Group.
As a foundation, the profits generated from IKEA activities can be used in two ways: either reinvested in the IKEA Group or they can be donated for charitable purposes through the foundation.
The foundation is based in the Netherlands. The image below explains quite well how the IKEA Group is organized:
Inter IKEA Holding ownership structure
According to the Inter IKEA website, “Inter IKEA Holding B.V. (located in the Netherlands), is the owner of IKEA range and supply (IKEA of Sweden AB and IKEA Supply AG), production (IKEA Industry AB) and franchising (Inter IKEA Systems B.V.) businesses. This structure simplifies and improves the IKEA franchise system, creating better conditions for increased customer focus and future expansion.“
Thus, Inter IKEA Holding B.V. comprises:
- IKEA range and supply (IKEA of Sweden AB and IKEA Supply AG), takes care of 9,500 products in the IKEA range, 24 purchasing offices, and 1,000 home furnishing suppliers in 51 countries as of 2017.
- production (IKEA Industry AB) counts 40 factories operated by IKEA Industry as of 2017
- franchising (Inter IKEA Systems B.V.) counts 11 separate franchise agreements via Inter IKEA Systems B.V.
As remarked on IKEA’s franchisor website:
Around the globe, a large number of companies operate under the IKEA trademarks. All IKEA franchisees are independent of Inter IKEA Group. A large group of franchisees are owned and operated by INGKA Group. Inter IKEA Group and INGKA Group have the same founder, and a common history and heritage, but have operated under different owners and management since the 1980s.
The ownership changes came into effect on 31 August 2016.
Once again, I want to remark that The Inter IKEA Group structure is now composed of three core businesses:
- Range and supply and
While IKEA Group is owned by INGKA Holding B.V., which is owned by the Stichting INGKA Foundation.
Inter IKEA Group is owned by Interogo Foundation, based in Liechtenstein, and established in 1989.
Its main purpose is “to own and govern Inter IKEA Group and to invest in Inter IKEA and thereby in the further expansion of the IKEA Concept, in order to secure the independence and the longevity of the Group and the IKEA Concept.”
What is the IKEA Group business model?
The IKEA Group business model is a franchisee that pays a 3% fee to Inter IKEA Systems B.V., which acts as a franchisor.
As of 2022, the company recorded over €27 billion in revenues.
And over €700 million in profits.
At the geographical level, Europe, with Germany, brings in 15% of the revenues, while US has 14%.
What is the Inter IKEA Systems business model?
Inter IKEA Systems B.V. follows a franchising business model.
The stores are operated via franchising agreements that will pay a 3% franchise fee.
On the other hand, the franchisees (the stores paying the fee to Inter IKEA Systems) have in exchange, the right to operate the stores under the IKEA concept and IKEA brand.
Thus, they gain access to systems, methods, and procedures that go from staff training, manuals, store layouts, display concepts, and so on.
Three main operating segments give the source of revenues for this group:
Total revenues in 2017 amounted to €23 billion.
As reported on Inter IKEA website “The acquisition (of IKEA of Sweden AB, IKEA Supply AG, and IKEA Industry AB—and their related businesses, which was completed on 31 August 2016) has had a substantial positive impact on the result.”
The whole franchise system consists of:
- IKEA assignments, in which the sales and supply, productions, and communications.
- IKEA franchise agreements with INGKA (owner of the IKEA Group) and other 10 franchisees.
The IKEA Franchise System in A Nutshell
As specified on Inter IKEA official site:
As the IKEA business was expanding in the early 1980s, IKEA founder, Ingvar Kamprad, realised that he needed to protect the IKEA Concept. After a long search, Ingvar decided that a franchise system would be the best choice for IKEA. It would allow for international expansion while protecting the underlying concept and stimulating an entrepreneurial spirit. Inter IKEA Systems B.V. is the IKEA franchisor who continuously develops the IKEA Concept and ensures its implementation in all markets. IKEA franchisees run the day-to-day retail business and pay a franchise fee. Together, the companies in the franchise system develop and improve how people discover and interact with IKEA and IKEA products. Inter IKEA Systems B.V. has assigned other IKEA companies to develop the range, supply and communication. IKEA of Sweden AB develops the IKEA home furnishing product range, IKEA Food Services AB develops the IKEA Food & Beverages product range, IKEA Supply AG manages purchasing and distribution and IKEA Communications AB produces IKEA communication. The diagram below shows a simplified overview of the IKEA franchise system. Inter IKEA Systems B.V., IKEA of Sweden AB, IKEA Food Services AB, IKEA Supply AG and IKEA Communications AB are companies within the Inter IKEA Group. Inter IKEA Group also includes other companies like IKEA Industry AB. The IKEA franchise system is people-oriented and encourages everyone to contribute. It forms an interdependent framework and lays a solid foundation for the IKEA Brand while enabling a scalable and dynamic value chain. Last, but not least, it answers Ingvar Kamprad’s three desired intentions: allowing and encouraging IKEA to remain entrepreneurial; enabling international growth; and keeping the IKEA Concept strong and consistent.
- Separate Owners: The IKEA brand comprises two separate owners. The IKEA Group, responsible for retail, customer fulfillment, and other services related to IKEA products, is owned by INGKA Holding B.V. This holding company is in turn owned by the Stichting INGKA Foundation, which owns the whole IKEA Group. On the other hand, Inter IKEA Systems B.V., part of Inter IKEA B.V., owns the IKEA Concept and acts as the worldwide franchisor for IKEA stores.
- Franchise Model: The IKEA Group is a franchisee and pays a 3% fee to Inter IKEA Systems B.V., the franchisor. The franchisees gain the right to operate IKEA stores under the IKEA concept and brand, along with access to systems, methods, and procedures.
- Complex Structure: IKEA’s organizational structure might sound complex, but it involves clear distinctions between the IKEA Group and the worldwide franchisor, Inter IKEA Systems B.V. The two entities have separate owners and manage different aspects of the business.
- INGKA Foundation: As a foundation, the profits generated from IKEA activities can be reinvested in the IKEA Group or donated for charitable purposes through the Stichting INGKA Foundation.
- Inter IKEA Group: The Inter IKEA Group is owned by Interogo Foundation, based in Liechtenstein, established to own and govern Inter IKEA Group and invest in its expansion to secure its independence and longevity.
- Revenue and Profit Growth: As of 2022, the IKEA Group recorded over €27 billion in revenues and over €700 million in profits. Over the years, revenue has shown significant growth, increasing from €21.5 billion in 2008 to €27.34 billion in 2022.
- Geographical Revenues: Europe, with Germany, brings in 15% of IKEA’s revenues, while the US accounts for 14% of revenues.
- Inter IKEA’s Role: Inter IKEA Systems B.V. develops and ensures the implementation of the IKEA Concept in all markets, while IKEA franchisees handle the day-to-day retail business and pay franchise fees.
- Protection of IKEA Concept: In the early 1980s, IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad decided on a franchise system to protect the IKEA Concept, allowing for international expansion while maintaining the underlying concept and encouraging entrepreneurial spirit.
- People-Oriented Franchise System: The IKEA franchise system encourages everyone to contribute, forming an interdependent framework and a scalable, dynamic value chain, while keeping the IKEA Concept strong and consistent.
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