SAN FRANCISCO—Uber, the ride-hailing and meal delivery company, will add grocery delivery to its U.S. services this month, reports GroceryDive.com. During the pandemic, Uber’s ride-hailing business dropped significantly, while its meal-delivery operations have grown dramatically. Now, Uber is joining the skyrocketing online grocery delivery industry.
The rollout begins in Dallas and Miami, where the company recently soft launched with partner Cornershop, before expanding to other cities. On Tuesday, Uber began the service in 19 cities across Latin America and Canada. The company is partnering with national and regional chain grocers. In Montreal and Toronto, shoppers can receive deliveries from Walmart and Metro stores.
In the U.S., Uber is partnering with chain grocers and independent shops and says it will offer retailers valuable tools, such as inventory management and order-picking technology. Uber executives declined to name any of the U.S. grocers participating.
Order collection and deliveries are performed by workers with Cornershop, the Chile-based grocery app that Uber moved to acquire last year. Shoppers with Uber Pass and Uber Eats memberships will get free delivery on any order over $30.
The announcement came just one day after Uber said it will acquire Postmates for $2.65 billion. Uber Eats bookings increased 54% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2020. In the 30 countries where Uber has tested grocery delivery, orders have increased 176% since February, the company said.
“It’s really bringing us closer to our vision of being this one-stop shop for all customers’ food occasions,” Raj Beri, Uber’s global head of grocery, said of the move into grocery delivery.
Grocery e-commerce surged past an estimated $7 billion in total sales in June. U.S. shoppers have also shown a preference for store pickup during the pandemic from chains like Kroger and Walmart.
“The maturity and adoption rate of online grocery has significantly accelerated,” Beri said. “There are a lot of customers that are or will be trying grocery delivery for the first time, and it’s important now to engage with the customers, as well as the merchants.”