IKEA agreed to acquire TaskRabbit, an online platform that connects consumers with freelancers to handle small jobs such as needs such as furniture assembly, moving and packing, and general handyman work. Once completed, the acquisition would enable IKEA to provide its customers access to services provided by the TaskRabbit Taskers. In other words, the do-it-yourself furniture retailer known for flat packaging and self-assembly now wants to connect shoppers with someone else to assemble their furniture.
“In a fast changing retail environment, we continuously strive to develop new and improved products and services to make our customers’ lives a little bit easier," said Jesper Brodin, President and CEO of IKEA Group. "Entering the on-demand, sharing economy enables us to support that. We will be able to learn from TaskRabbit’s digital expertise, while also providing IKEA customers additional ways to access flexible and affordable service solutions to meet the needs of today’s customer."
IKEA first piloted this idea in London last November, offering furniture-assembly services by Taskers to IKEA customers. After the acquisition, services will be available to IKEA customers in the United States and the United Kingdom, with other countries possible at a later date. TaskRabbit recently expanded its presence to 40 cities around the U.S. and in London.
“In the communities in which we operate, TaskRabbit provides strong economic impact," said Stacy Brown-Philpot, TaskRabbit CEO. "With IKEA Group ownership, TaskRabbit could realize even greater opportunities; increasing earning potential of Taskers and connecting consumers to a wide range of affordable services."
This follows Amazon's news it will open shops in 10 Kohl's stores in October, offering experts who will install smart home products in customers' homes.
The conditional agreement to acquire 100% of the shares in TaskRabbit, Inc. is expected to close in October. TaskRabbit will remain a standalone company and operate as an independent company within the IKEA Group. As such, TaskRabbit will still be able to strike other partnerships, such as its collaboration with Amazon.