Amazon announced today that it has expanded its Home Services business to 20 new cities across the country. Home Services is an under-the-radar offering from the online retailer that lets customers hire professionals for things like plumbing, furniture assembly, car repair, home cleaning, and more. Home Services launched in 2015 and is now available in cities including Boulder, Colorado; New Haven, Connecticut; Indianapolis, Indiana; Trenton, New Jersey; and San Antonio, Texas. A full list of the newly added cities can be found in Amazon’s press release.
The expansion comes as Amazon seeks applicants for a new position called Home Assistant. The Seattle Times reported a couple of listings in the Seattle area for those jobs, which call for applicants with hospitality or service experience. Home Assistants would be “helping Amazon customers keep their home” by “tidying up around the home, laundry, and helping put groceries and essentials like toilet paper and paper towels away.”
While it doesn’t appear Amazon wants to build up a huge network of Home Assistants, the company is clearly trying to get into the service industry with these kinds of jobs and the expansion of Home Services. Angie’s List is currently the biggest player in this field, connecting customers to service professionals for all kinds of jobs with its huge directory. However, earlier this month the company reported a third quarter loss of about $17 million, and layoffs have been confirmed as well. Angie’s List also rejected a proposed $500 million acquisition by HomeAdvisor last year.
Relative to Amazon’s other offerings, the company has been quiet about Home Services thus far. It’s only a year old, but this expansion into 20 new cities may mean we hear more about it in the future. Not only is Home Services a challenge to Angie’s List, but it’s also a competitor for companies like Handy that connect customers to local workers that do the same kinds of at-home jobs.
Currently there are no ties between Home Services and Amazon Prime, as Prime members don’t appear to get discounts or special perks when they book a job through Home Services. But Amazon likes to add as many things to Prime memberships as it can in an attempt to prove the annual $99 price tag is well worth it. Most recently, Amazon added Prime Reading to all memberships, allowing Prime members to read thousands of books and magazines for free (that library is different from the add-on, $10-per-month Kindle Unlimited service, too). It’s possible that Home Service specials could come to Prime members in the future, but there are no official indications of that yet.