Ikea is acquiring a startup that could help it fix the most bothersome thing about the popular furniture business.
The giant of home furniture and accessories announced Thursday that it signed a deal to buy TaskRabbit. The startup was founded back in 2008 and lets its users hire a temporary worker to clean homes, deliver purchases and in Ikea’s case even assemble someone’s furniture.
Ikea announced that once its acquisition has been completed, the furniture retailer will provide customers at its stores access to the Taskers at TaskRabbit.
The CEO and president of Ikea Jesper Brodin said that in today’s fast changing environment related to retail, the company is continuously striving to develop improved as well as new products and services that will make the lives of our customers just a bit easier.
The Ikea CEO added that entering the on-demand and sharing economy enables us to continue supporting that.
Ikea has a partnership already with TaskRabbit across the UK. That program offers a set of fixed prices for customers at Ikea seeking someone to help assemble furniture that was purchased at Ikea, which for many has always been a very tricky and difficult task to accomplish.
TaskRabbit is already advertising a pick-up service for furniture that includes delivery as well as assembly services. Ikea Assembly in New York is a special task that customers are able to select from a host of available options that include things like yard work and even standing in line.
Prior to the deal being officially announced, Recode posted that the purchase by Ikea of TaskRabbit had been fueled by the need Ikea has to increase its digital customer service abilities to compete better with rivals such as Amazon, which increased its offerings of home goods as well as installation.
Recode was not able to determine the amount that reportedly was paid by Ikea to acquire TaskRabbit, which raised approximately $50 million since being founded back in 2008.
Ikea has not yet disclosed the price it paid to acquire the online startup.
As more consumers shift to shopping online, traditional brick and mortar stores have been looking for new ways to offer services to win their customers back.
Best Buy just recently launched a program where employees are sent to the homes of customers to recommend electronics.
Ikea has 360 stores worldwide and expects to complete the deal in October. TaskRabbit will remain independent and stay in San Francisco where it is currently based.