IKEA, founded by Ingvar Kamprad of Sweden, is the top furniture retailer in the world, with more than 250 stores in 34 countries and sales in excess of $22 billion annually. It is a privately held company. The company recently announced a Charlotte location opening in 2009. The 345,000-square-foot IKEA Charlotte will occupy 25 acres and employ over 400. IKEA stores in Atlanta, Georgia and Woodbridge, Virginia are the closest to North Carolina at present.