retail news in context, analysis with attitude

National Public Radio (NPR) has a story about how Walmart has been testing a partnership with Handy, a home services app, in Atlanta “and now plans to expand it to more than 2,000 locations.” The goal is “to give shoppers a deal on professional help assembling furniture or installing a TV … Walmart shoppers will be offered TV installation for $79 and furniture assembly for $59 through the Handy app or website.”

Convenience and being a resource for shoppers have become major differentiating points for retailers, the story notes, pointing out that “Amazon is expanding its own home-services offerings, such as dog walkers and plumbers. Ikea, the giant furniture retailer, recently purchased TaskRabbit, another marketplace for freelance professionals, including people who can help you assemble furniture.”
KC's View:
Not that Walmart cares what we think here at MNB, but this is part of a broader approach to business that I’ve talked about for some time - that retailers can differentiate themselves from the competition by being more than a source of products, and becoming a resource for shoppers. Good idea.