Ace Hardware builds through acquisition in the do-it-for-me market
Ace Hardware has closed on the acquisition of Handyman Matters Franchise, a franchisor of home repair and maintenance services.
Based in Denver, Handyman Matters has 57 franchisees who collectively employ approximately 250 handymen and women in 121 territories across 23 states. The craftsmen are “trained to handle a homeowner’s to-do list in addition to larger projects.” On-site services for consumers and small businesses include carpentry, plumbing, electrical, drywall, painting and flooring.
“The introduction of Ace Handyman Services provides a platform from which Ace can further deliver on our helpful promise to consumers while expanding our presence in the growing do-it-for-me segment,” said John Venhuizen, president and CEO of Ace Hardware.
Handyman Matters will become Ace Handyman Services and operate as a standalone subsidiary. Ace expects to complete the integration and re-branding initiatives by the first quarter of 2020. Andy Bell, founder and CEO, will continue to lead the day-to-day business operations for Ace Handyman Services.
Mr. Venhuizen added, “Providing increased support to existing franchisees while aggressively recruiting more is part of a compelling evolution in our plan for strategic growth and our retailers’ continued success.”
The deal appears similar to IKEA’s 2017 acquisition of TaskRabbit, the on-demand platform, which links freelance workers with jobs, from handymen to movers to assistants. TaskRabbit was expected to boost IKEA’s delivery and assembly capabilities.
Jesper Brodin, CEO of IKEA Group, said at the time, “In a fast-changing retail environment, we continuously strive to develop new and improved products and services to make our customers’ lives a little bit easier.”
Home Depot and Lowe’s both offer installation services through independent contractors. In 2015, Amazon launched Amazon Home Services, which also works with external service providers.
In its 2018 annual report, Home Depot wrote that demand for installation services is expanding “particularly for our ‘baby boomer’ customers who may have historically been DIY customers but who are now looking for someone to complete a project for them.” The retailer is focusing more on its professional service providers because they “perform services for our DIFM customers will help us drive higher product sales.”
- Ace Hardware Corp. Announces Acquisition of Handyman Matters Franchise – Ace Hardware
- IKEA Group signs agreement to acquire TaskRabbit – IKEA
- IKEA buys TaskRabbit to give consumers relief with furniture assembly – RetailWire
- Home Depo 2018 annual report – Home Depot
- Lowe’s Selects Porch.com to Simplify the Search for Home Professionals – Porch
- Will outsourcing jobs help Lowe’s associates better serve customers in stores? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What synergies do you see coming from Ace Hardware’s acquisition of Handyman Matters Franchise? What do you think of the overall growth opportunity for retailers aligning with the do-it-for-me (DIFM) market?