For those left baffled by the assembly instructions for an Ikea cabinet, help is on the way.
Ikea Group, the international retailing giant known for its ready-to-assemble furniture, announced Thursday that it has acquired on-demand labor company TaskRabbit.
TaskRabbit enables people in 40 U.S. cities and in London to search for contractors, called "Taskers", that they can hire for specific tasks ranging from laundry to moving. One of its categories is called "assemble Ikea furniture."
This deal will make it easier for those buying new dressers, wardrobes and other home furnishings that come in many pieces to find handy people to put it together for them.
The acquisition price wasn't released nor were details about how Ikea would integrate TaskRabbit's services into its company.
“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. Entering the on-demand, sharing economy enables us to support that," said Ikea Group president Jesper Brodin.
In London last November, Ikea and TaskRabbit launched a pilot program which enabled Ikea shoppers to get TaskRabbit contractors.
"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,” Stacy Brown-Philpot, TaskRabbit's CEO, said.
The deal is a great example of synergy between a product and a service, said Bob Phibbs, CEO of the New York-based consultancy The Retail Doctor. Customers might choose to buy items from Ikea versus its competitors, solely because the assembly service is practically built-in.
Meghan Lapides, a vice president of human resources for a New York City tech company, has hired Taskers to assemble a bed, bookshelves, and chairs. Once they were there, she asked them to also hang up her curtains.
Lapides applauded the news of Ikea's acquiring TaskRabbit. "It's
"It's amazing," she said, "because it creates a more seamless experience for users. I can have someone reliable, who I get to choose, come and assemble furniture or do other household tasks."
The deal was signed on Monday and is expected to close next month.
Ikea Group has 357 stores in 29 countries. The company was founded in Sweden in 1943 and today is headquartered in the Netherlands.