Ikea's parent firm, Ingka Group, has purchased a 49 percent stake in U.S. kitchen installation firm Traemand as it pushes to expand and enhance its service offerings for customers. The purchase of such a large stake come after the two firms have been working together for the last 13 years. Traemand connects Ikea's shoppers with subcontractors who can help them lay out and install Ikea kitchens. Traemand partners with Ikea in the U.S. and Canada.
“With the investment in Traemand the customer experience will be more simple and seamless,” Ingka Group said in a statement. “The investment in Traemand makes it possible to integrate the planning and the installation service in the purchase.”
It is not at this time known what Ingka paid for the stake.
The deal as written now leaves the door open for a full acquisition down the road — as well as the possibility that Traemand may expand to more markets. The investment in — and potential future purchase of — Traemand is only Ikea's second such move, the first being the firm's acquisition of TaskRabbit a year ago.
Both moves speak to changing market preferences, and consumers more used to being offered easy at-home delivery as well as installation services. The Ikea model — particularly its DIY home-build focus — has lost some of tis appeal with consumers in recent years. By offering more services associated with its goods — not to mention significantly upgraded digital commerce portals — Ikea is clearly moving to bring its offerings more in line with the times.
Other moves the firm has made in recent memory include relocating more of its showrooms away from the remote areas it is famous for building in and into city showrooms with a smaller physical footprint. Among its expanded digital and eCommerce services, Ikea offers delivery and assembly, planning services and augmented reality apps to help better shepherd consumers through the furniture shopping experience.