February 11, 2019 / 9:23 PM / 4 months ago

Home services site Handy has furniture assembly deal with Crate and Barrel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Home furnishings retailer Crate and Barrel will partner with home services platform Handy to offer furniture assembly and home decor installation across the United States, joining a growing list of big box retailers seeking to win over shoppers with handyman services, a Handy spokesperson said on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: Shoppers make their way past a Crate & Barrell store at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois, October 22, 2007. REUTERS/John Gress

Customers who dislike do-it-yourself chores will now be able to walk up to store associates at any of the 90 Crate and Barrel stores across the country and arrange for a Handy worker to come to their home between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., any day of the week, to complete the task.

The Northbrook, Illinois-based retailer was expected to announce the partnership later on Monday. The decision is the latest example of a big box retailer responding to new online competition by offering a range of services complementing its furniture assortment.

Odd-jobs site Task Rabbit, a rival of Handy, was bought by Swedish furniture giant IKEA in September 2017. Determined to win over online shoppers, IKEA told Reuters it was expanding into interior design and looking at services such as furniture repair to gain an edge.

For now, Crate and Barrel customers will only be able to book a Handy worker while physically in the store and Handy installation is not currently available for Crate and Barrel products purchased online, a Handy spokesperson said.

Prices for the handyman services range from $59 to $199, a Handy spokesperson said. Hanging wall art, for example, costs $65. Desk assembly costs $109.

This is the first time Crate and Barrel is doing business with Handy, which also offers home services such as furniture assembly and television mounting via partnerships with retailers Walmart, Wayfair Inc and eBay Inc.

Separately, Walmart Inc on Friday debuted an online-exclusive furniture brand dubbed “MoDRN” and said in a company blog post it would launch new furniture and decor seasonally.

Over the past year, Walmart has seen a nearly 35 percent increase in visits to its home destination, with most customers spending more time on the site, according to the post.

The companies did not reveal financial terms of the partnership.

Reporting by Melissa Fares in New York; Editing by David Gregorio

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