Better together: IKEA and TaskRabbit

Retail today is constantly being reinvented, and fascinating partnerships are continuing to transform the industry. When IKEA acquired freelance labor mobile marketplace TaskRabbit in 2017, it just made sense for customers who want on-demand assistance assembling furniture. TaskRabbit CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot ushered the company through the acquisition and continues to lead the organization, which operates independently under IKEA today.

Brown-Philpot was honored on the List of People Shaping Retail’s Future at the NRF Foundation Gala, and sat down with the Retail Gets Real team at NRF 2019: Retail’s Big Show following the celebration to share more about her remarkable career journey and what makes great partnerships stick.

After developing an interest in tech from her time working in finance, Brown-Philpot left a career on Wall Street to join pre-IPO Google. That led to extraordinary opportunities to help build the company where she oversaw online sales and operations, leading teams of thousands of people across the world. But after nearly a decade, Brown-Philpot needed a change. “I looked around my corner office, and it was time to move on and do something else,” she said. “And I wasn’t sure what that was going to be. I really didn’t know. But I loved building things and I’m a mission-minded person, so whatever I was going to do was going to have a mission that appealed to me.”

RGR with TaskRabbit's Stacy Brown-Philpot
Stacy Brown-Philpot (center) with co-hosts Bill Thorne (right) and Sarah Rand (left).

The mission that spoke to her was that of TaskRabbit’s, where she first joined as COO in 2012. And the same mission — “to make everyday life easier for everyday people” — convinced her a partnership with IKEA was a perfect match. IKEA’s mission: “create a better everyday life for the many people.”

“We wrote ours 10 years ago. They wrote theirs 75 years ago. We did not do this at the same time. They’re in Sweden. We were in the United States,” Brown-Philpot says. “But the alignment in values and culture was so there. It was so obvious that it made sense for us to partner.”

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Since taking the helm, Brown-Philpot has led TaskRabbit to expand to 45 markets across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom; being a part of IKEA is helping TaskRabbit accelerate that expansion.

Listen to the full episode to learn more about the hard work and leaps of faith it took for Brown-Philpot to rise from a single-parent home in Detroit to become one of the most well-respected leaders in Silicon Valley, and how the values of an organization must align in order to make business partnerships work.

Hear more stories from the List of People Shaping Retail’s Future and NRF 2019: Retail’s Big Show.

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