Multinational retail group Ikea has purchased online freelance labour hiring firm TaskRabbit, Reuters reported on Thursday. “We need to develop the business faster and in a more flexible way,” Ikea Group President Jesper Brodin said. “An acquisition of TaskRabbit would be an exciting leap in this transformation.”
TaskRabbit will continue to operate as an independent company within the Ikea Group even after the acquisition. The value of the deal has not been disclosed.
The acquisition also makes Ikea part of the “gig economy”, where TaskRabbit workers become independent contractors who can work whenever they want, wherever they want and at rates they set, according to The Guardian. However, they will not necessarily be entitled to a minimum wage, among other benefits.
Ikea Group President Brodin said they were responding to increasing urbanisation and a shift to online shopping, which had undermined traditional retailing. TaskRabbit has also struggled to expand, and has been offering its services via a partnership with electronic commerce giant Amazon since 2016.