1. Lifestyle
September 29, 2017

IKEA has bought TaskRabbit to make assembling your furniture easier

By Jack Rear

There’s nothing quite like assembling IKEA furniture. Whether you absolutely hate it, or you see it as the adult equivalent of a LEGO set, most of us have done it.

To be completely fair to IKEA, they’ve made their assembly instructions a lot easier to follow in recent years. Still, when you’ve got four slightly different screws that all look the same, it can be pretty tricky.

If you’re the type who struggles with building IKEA furniture, the Swedish furniture giant have a solution. Recode revealed on Thursday that IKEA has just acquired TaskRabbit for an undisclosed sum.

For those who aren’t aware, TaskRabbit is to handymen what Uber is to taxi-drivers. People post their jobs to the app with the amount of money they’ll pay for a person to do it. The worker will then accept the task and fulfil it to receive their payment. It’s one of the best-known start-ups of the gig economy. In fact, there is a whole episode of the hit Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt revolving around TaskRabbit!

Why did IKEA buy TaskRabbit?

IKEA chief Jesper Brodin said in a statement:

“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. 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.”

Sources have said that TaskRabbit will become an independent subsidiary within IKEA. The current CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot and its staff will remain.

The idea is that you would buy furniture then get a specially trained TaskRabbit help build it at home. Or better yet, they could also go and pick it up for you! This might be ideal if you’re buying something like a bed and you don’t have a big enough car to fit it in at the warehouse. Currently, IKEA’s delivery service offers a flat £35 no matter what you’ve bought cost. The acquisition of TaskRabbit could definitely help bring this cost down.

This isn’t the first association between TaskRabbit and IKEA. The two companies have partnered before in the UK and in the USA to advocate the furniture building capabilities of TaskRabbit workers.

The move seems likely to be a response to Amazon Flex. This is a similar service which would see workers become part-time Amazon delivery drivers for up to £15/$25 per hour.

Either way, it’s a good thing for consumers who’ll be able to sit back and relax and get someone else to build their furniture. Or even just get a helping hand for when Kallax-building requires an extra person!

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