Ikea doesn’t have a store in Memphis, and the retailer doesn’t deliver some products to Memphis – which is why Ben Colar and two other guys created a venture to give fans of the retailer a guaranteed personal delivery service.
Fetch is their newly launched enterprise that will allow Memphis-area consumers to create a list of items from Ikea. The Fetch guys charge a little extra to make it worth their while, and they’ll take those lists, drive to the Ikea store in Atlanta and bring the items back.
The first run is Sept. 6. Items will be picked up and brought back to Memphis to be delivered the following day.
Colar said in his experience, IKEA will deliver some products to Memphis but not others. It was a trip to the Atlanta store that led the guys behind Fetch to see firsthand the niche they think they can fill.
“Earlier this year, the three of us and our families took a road trip together just to pick up some furniture from Ikea,” Colar said. “We all love Ikea furniture, but we were frustrated that we couldn’t get it shipped to Memphis. So imagine three guys, their wives, three kids under the age of 6 and one more baby on the way, all packed into two cars, driving to Atlanta on a furniture run.
“After a few hours in the Atlanta Ikea store, we all started adding up the cost of gas, parking, meals, two nights in a hotel, plus the hassle of trekking through the store in search of the items we wanted, and trying to fit $1,000 of merchandise into our cars for the drive back.”
That’s when they realized that if they were willing to load up the cars with family and make a weekend out of it, there may be others who would do it, too. And even more who would want to but couldn’t, or wouldn’t – and would prefer instead that someone else do it and deliver to their doorstep.
“So we decided to try it out and see how it goes,” Colar said.
There’s no limit on the size of orders. Fetch will pick up individual items for shoppers as well as come back with enough furniture to outfit any office or restaurant that needs it.
Fetch also will deliver beyond Memphis. According to its website, shoppers in Arkansas and Mississippi towns that border Memphis are welcome to order, but those shoppers are encouraged to email Fetch to see if they’re too far away and if special fees will apply.
The Fetch website, www.wecanfetch.it, spells out how to order.
Colar said if IKEA ever does open a store in Memphis, “we’d consider it a success.”
“That means Ikea sees the demand in Memphis, and we think Memphis would be better off for it,” he said. “We created Fetch to meet a specific need that we saw. If an Ikea store opens here, the need goes away, and we’re fine with that. We have discussed expanding our services to deliver other products not available in Memphis, but that would be further down the road.”
Fetch has a social media presence on Twitter (@wecanfetchit) and Facebook (facebook.com/wecanfetchit).