Amazon is looking to tap into the estimated $16 billion housekeeping industry by hiring housekeeping professionals for a new service called Amazon Home Assistants, according to Bloomberg. The service, being testing in Seattle, costs bout $156 a week for a cleaning of a 1,500-square-foot home.
Amazon didn't immediately return Retail Dive's request for comment.
The e-commerce giant’s Home Services are now available in all 50 states and in Washington, D.C. Housekeeping, compared to its lawn care and furniture and home theater assembly services, is highlighted on its website with the biggest button.
To compete with the likes of Angie’s List and Yelp, Amazon launched its Home Services unit in four metro markets in 2015, and has quickly expanded.
Getting into the service business is another classic example of how the online retail giant hasn't limited itself to retail and is willing to launch and quickly expand efforts in consumer segments ripe for disruption. Amazon estimated in 2016 that the on-demand market for home services was between $400 billion and $800 billion.
In the past, the company has said the expansion of home services is boosting sales, and the most popular services requested are mounting flat-screen televisions to walls and assembling treadmills. But the company doesn't break out what those sales are, and Bloomberg's report suggests that, in trying out the direct hire of pros, it aims to improve efficiencies and, perhaps, quality.
Amazon’s expansion could pose even more problems for competitors as more consumers realize that Amazon offers such services, especially considering its reputation for great customer service. Retailers are increasingly tying up with services, especially in the furniture and home electronics space. Ikea bought assembly startup TaskRabbit outright last year, Walmart recently announced a partnership with Handy and Best Buy and Home Depot have long offered in-home help.