You can find the little town of Älmhult about 45 minutes by train from Växjö. In that town in the year 1953 Ingvar Kamprad opened the first IKEA store. We went there today, mostly because we needed dish towels and a couple extra fitted sheets but also, of course, because we wanted to visit the place where IKEA’s global empire began.
Some of IKEA’s offices are still on the campus. There is also an IKEA hotel. The store was pretty ordinary and there seemed to be no indicators or testimonials to the fact that the store was the first of an empire that spans 38 countries. No bother. I could just sense the power and energy emanating from the home of flatpack and particle board.