Just when you thought Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UBER) might have put too many eggs in its basket, it is putting eggs in consumers’ baskets – straight from the grocery store.
The company announced on Monday its largest grocery store expansion since launching in July 2020, with scheduled same-day, on-demand grocery delivery now available in more than 400 cities and towns across the United States. United. The move, Uber’s first major grocery expansion in the United States, will more than double the availability of its grocery delivery service.
The expansion will cover several major markets from coast to coast, including San Francisco, New York, Washington, Miami, Dallas and Phoenix, with several more locations coming in 2021.
Uber enters the field
“The past year has been a year of incredible growth for the delivery of groceries,” said Raj Beri, Global Head of Grocery and New Verticals at Uber. “Today, nearly 3 million consumers order groceries and other essentials each month through Uber and we’re just getting started. By adding thousands of beloved grocers to our pick this year, we’re accelerating our efforts to help Americans get everything they need from their favorite supermarket delivered to their doorstep.
To accelerate the rollout of its extended services, Uber is partnering with Albertsons Co. Inc. (NYSE: ACI) and 1,200 of its grocery stores, including well-known names like Safeway, Jewel-Osco, ACME, Tom Thumb and Randalls. With an even larger network in place, Uber hopes to cut grocery delivery times from days to hours or even minutes.
Uber is not the only company to increase its presence in the grocery delivery industry, nor the only company to partner with Albertsons. Last month, DoorDash (NYSE: DASH) announced its own collaboration with Albertsons and nearly 2,000 of its brands, while Instacart established a relationship with the national grocer years ago.
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However, it is not clear whether shoppers will continue to have their groceries delivered once COVID-19 conditions calm down and the country returns to normal. Since March 2020, online grocery delivery and pickup sales have increased, peaking at $ 7.2 billion in June of last year, but have since leveled off. In May, the most recent month for which data is available, the online grocery delivery and pickup market fell to $ 5.3 billion, but still above the $ 4 billion mark. he had racked up at the start of the pandemic.
That hasn’t stopped companies from continuing to innovate in the space. Instacart, one of the industry pioneers, recently added nearly 6,000 7-Eleven locations to its store arsenal, and it intends to go global. Meanwhile, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) is starting to show interest in capitalizing on its acquisition of Whole Foods in 2017, possibly preparing to enter the same-day grocery delivery space.
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