No assembly required? Ikea to buy services site TaskRabbit

Allan Goodman
September 29, 2017

Ikea, the Swedish furniture store, is famous for its wordless assembly instruction booklets.

About TaskRabbit A pioneering on-demand workforce company, TaskRabbit connects clients with skilled Taskers to handle everyday needs such as furniture assembly, moving and packing, general handyman work, and other home improvement services.

Recode speaks to sources who say that TaskRabbit will remain an independent subsidiary of the furniture company, and CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot is expected to remain. Recode sees the deal as a strategic acquisition at a time of rapid change in the world of retail and home delivery.

Ikea said it tested TaskRabbit in its stores in London past year and plans to roll out the service in US stores and more United Kingdom locations.

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Ikea said it "continuously strives to develop new and improved products and services to make our customers' lives a little bit easier". The program offers fixed pricing for Ikea customers seeking someone to assemble furniture purchased from Ikea - a famously tricky task.

The purchase of TaskRabbit was fuelled by Ikea's need to bolster its digital customer service capabilities to better compete with rivals likes Amazon, which has stepped up its home goods and installation services. Yelp and Google had also expressed interest in buying the San Francisco-based company after it put itself up for sale in April. In the communities in which we operate, TaskRabbit provides strong economic impact.

TaskRabbit will retain its San Francisco headquarters and operate as a standalone company that will continue to partner with other retailers and commercial partners, said TaskRabbit spokesman Adi Raval. "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", saysStacy Brown-Philpot, TaskRabbit CEO.

Ikea offered few details about how it might integrate TaskRabbit into its operations.

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