IKEA-TaskRabbit partnership takes off in the U.S.

What happened

  • IKEA furniture customers seeking to circumvent DIY assembly now have the option to hire an employee from TaskRabbit, a startup that IKEA bought in 2017, which allows users to bring in temporary hires to their homes for delivery, housekeeping and other home services. Shoppers can schedule from TaskRabbit in-store after making a purchase, or with the TaskRabbit website or app, starting with two stores in California, with expected availability reaching all corners of the U.S.

Why it matters

  • As retail stores seek to differentiate themselves from online competitors, many are turning to value-added services to save customers time and make installation easier. IKEA’s partnership with TaskRabbit puts the Swedish company on more equal par with other tech-friendly companies that sell home goods on-demand like Amazon and Wayfair (TaskRabbit also has a partnership with Amazon).
  • The services increase IKEA’s presence in customers’ homes, as well as the value of its products, which customers can enjoy faster and more easily. If executed correctly, it should encourage customers to shop more frequently with IKEA as it solves one of the major pain points of purchasing.
  • However, it will be important to watch how scalable this service is. TaskRabbit was sold to IKEA (not bought) after failing to make money and scale. Finding quality workers in and around IKEA stores will definitely be a challenge. Can IKEA mitigate many of the problems TaskRabbit ran into as a standalone company, or will it make the same mistakes?