One of the most pervasive truisms of modern retail is that what Amazon does, other merchants will try to mimic. Sometimes, though, retailers have to band together to offer similar services to ward off the Seattle giant’s advance into their territory.
That’s the move that home goods retailer Wayfair and home services merchant Porch.com made with their announcement on Tuesday (April 19) that they would be teaming up to offer installation and assembly by the latter for all products ordered from the former. Steve Oblak, senior vice president and general manager at Wayfair, explained that the strategic partnership with Porch will allow both companies to do more than they ever could alone.
“At Wayfair, we pride ourselves on a customer service-driven retail experience, and with this Porch.com partnership, we are able to offer services that further enhance the shopping experience and make home decorating and renovation easier for our customers,” Oblak said in a statement. “Porch is ideally positioned to deliver quality home installation services through their ever-expanding network of background-checked and guaranteed professionals, and we look forward to delighting our customers with this enhanced offering.”
Oblak made no mention of Amazon’s influence on the deal, but Porch CEO Matt Ehrlichman told The Seattle Times that, as soon as Amazon entered the home services and goods space and started offering installation and assembly services of its own last year, most retailers in the category figured that they had to adapt or die.
“If anyone tells you when Amazon enters their space that they were happy, they’re not telling the truth,” Ehrlichman said. “But it’s been interesting because it’s actually galvanized everyone.”
The partnership will launch in 15 markets to start, which might not be enough to get Amazon executives worried about ita foothold in the home goods market but should be enough to give Wayfair and Porch a fighting chance to survive.