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Walmart tests deal with Handy: Buy TV, someone will install

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Not handy around the house? Walmart is testing a service that lets shoppers hire someone to assemble a bookcase or hang a TV.

The test, which started recently in Atlanta only, is a partnership with on-demand online services platform Handy. Shoppers who buy furniture or a TV at the stores participating in the limited pilot program can also pay for Handy's services and book a professional to help.

Retailers are increasingly looking for ways to make shopping more convenient so customers will want to buy more. Ikea recently announced it would buy Handy rival TaskRabbit, which sends people to assemble its products. And online furniture seller Wayfair already offers Handy's services for its shoppers.

Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says the test is in a small number of Atlanta stores. 

The test follows moves by competitors like Amazon and Ikea to offer similar home services for the products they sell to people whoi are definitely not into DIY retail.

According to CNET, Amazon said Monday it will expand Amazon Home Services -- its hub for hiring plumbers, painters and electricians through its website -- to 20 more metropolitan areas, including Indianapolis, Las Vegas and San Antonio. Amazon launched Home Services in 2015, and has since expanded it to more than 50 metro areas.

And Ikea in September bought the online on-demand services platform TaskRabbit, which lets users hire people to help them move, clean up the house or assemble furniture.

Ikea said it offered TaskRabbit services in its stores in London last year and plans to roll out the service in U.S. stores and more U.K. locations. More countries may be added later. The company says when the deal is completed, which is expected to happen next month, TaskRabbit will remain an independent company within Ikea and stay based in San Francisco.

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