Watch Ikea Take Over The World In One GIF

From humble origins, the furniture giant has risen to confuse much of the world with its byzantine assembly instructions.

Behold the rise of Ikea, which grew from zero stores in 1943 to 347 stores in 2014.

The GIF above comes from an animated map produced by London-based designer Mike Barker. The map scrolls through Ikea's entire 71-year history and was inspired by similar work FlowingData did on the growth of Walmart.

Barker told BuzzFeed the map tells a unique and surprising story:

"Who knew how late it came to the U.S. or as many people on Twitter have pointed out, how late it came to the U.K., especially after expanding very early into Australia and western Canada (so far from Sweden). Ikea is a different destination for shoppers compared to Walmart; you go once or only a few times every year. Walmart you might go to on a monthly or even more frequent basis. It's likely this caused the slow, far-flung and lower overall growth compared to Walmart."

Barker used Ikea's website and Google maps to pinpoint locations of current stores, and combed through various Ikea data to identify opening dates.

Skip to footer