Урок: BEC Upper Unit 1 Video Lesson

Watch the video lesson.


Meet the company | From small beginnings


From Farm to Fame

This is the story of Ingvar Kamprad and the company he founded. Read the text and then do the exercises below.

Think about furniture. Think about a furniture brand … are you thinking of IKEA?  With a sales turnover of €29.2 billion by the end of 2013, it is the largest furniture company in the world and easily the most famous, so you probably are. How IKEA grew so large is the story of one man and three brilliant ideas.

The man in question is Ingvar Kamprad and he began his entrepreneurial career at the age of only five, selling matches to his neighbours. By the age of seven he had learned to ride a bicycle and was selling his products in neighbouring villages too. Ten years later Ingvar established his own business which he called IKEA, a name formed from the initials of his name plus the first letters of Elmtaryd (E) and Agunnaryd (A), the farm and village in Sweden where he grew up. Five years later, in 1948, IKEA started selling locally made furniture and sales began to grow.

And then came idea number one. Ingvar wanted to reach a wider market than the people who could visit his store and his solution was to create a catalogue. In 2013 IKEA printed 212 million catalogues and the online version received an amazing 1.3 billion visits.

An un-named IKEA worker came up with brilliant idea number two. He had to take home an IKEA table and couldn’t fit it in his car, so he decided to take off the table legs. The concept of flat-pack furniture and self-assembly as a means of keeping prices down had been born. 

By 1958, IKEA was employing its own designers and manufacturing its own furniture and it was one of their designers, Gillis Lundgren, who made arguably the biggest contribution to IKEA’s success. He had only been working at IKEA for a matter of months when he noticed the simple and practical ideas being used in IKEA’s own kitchens and was inspired to apply the same thinking for all furniture items throughout the home. He immediately sat down and designed the TORE drawer unit which has become a symbol of IKEA’s design vision. 

The catalogue, the reasonable pricing and the stylish but practical design have proved to be the key ingredients of a remarkable success story. And what of that young boy selling matches to his neighbours in a small village in Sweden? Now 88 years old, Ingvar Kamprad still acts as an advisor to the company … a company which has now opened 345 stores in 42 different countries.

Do the exercises below.

IKEA was founded in 

IKEA became immediately successful. 



IKEA print over catalogues annually.


The founder of IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad, was the person who came up with the idea of ‘flat-pack’ furniture. 


Annual turnover in 2013 was around: 



By 2013 IKEA had opened stores worldwide.



IKEA has stores in different countries.


Ingvar is no longer connected with the Company. 

Match the words with their meaning.



  • come up with (sth)
  • turnover
  • entrepreneurial
  • catalogue
  • flat pack (furniture)
  • self-assembly (furniture)
  • a means (of doing sth)
  • the value of the goods and services that...
  • a method of doing something
  • using money to start a business and make...
  • furniture that you buy in separate piece...
  • a piece of furniture that is sold in par...
  • to think of something such as an idea or...
  • a book containing pictures and informati...

Choose the correct verb tense.



According to this timetable, the bus at 9pm.



I Tom as soon as the seminar ends.



My Department Head usually till about 6.30pm.



Susan on an important assignment right now.



My colleague here since January.



When I got to work in the morning, John with the new girl in the office.



Stefan several presentations so I don’t think he will be nervous.



the conference last week?



You look tired. What have you ?



When I finally arrived, the staff meeting .