The New York Times reports that Ikea has come up with a solution to the problem of people being “befuddled” by its build-it-yourself furniture - it has acquired TaskRabbit, described as a company that “uses its online marketplace to connect 60,000 freelance workers, or ‘taskers,’ with people looking to hire someone to do chores like furniture assembly, moving and handyman fixes. In their listings, workers specify their hourly rates.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“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,” says Jesper Brodin, Ikea’s CEO. “Entering the on-demand, sharing economy enables us to support that.”

Ikea operates in 40 US cities, and will continue operate independently once the Ikea deal closes.

KC's View: I read this story, and the first thing I thought about was people who buy food in the supermarket and take it home, but end up being befuddled by recipes … and I have to wonder if their is a role for food retailer to create their own “taskers” to help them at home.

This may be part of a bigger trend, as we’ve recently seen Best Buy investing in more at-home services. I’m sure there are plenty of arguments for why this might not work for food, but I think someone will test it and figure out how to make it viable.