IKEA

How Swede it is. One of the world's top furniture retailers, IKEA sells Scandinavian-style home furnishings and other housewares in about 330 stores in some 40 countries. To cut transportation costs, IKEA uses flat packaging; customers assemble the products at home. The company designs its own furniture, which is made by about 1,075 suppliers in some 55 countries. IKEA's stores feature playrooms for children and Swedish cuisine restaurants. It mails more than 200 million catalogs a year and sells goods online. An acronym for founder Ingvar Kamprad and his boyhood home, Elmtaryd, Agunnaryd, IKEA began operating in Sweden in 1943. It is owned by Kamprad's Netherlands-based charitable foundation, Stichting Ingka.

Mission: To create a better everyday life for the many people.