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12/07/2021

Uber expands seasonal delivery with ‘holiday hub’

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Uber is targeting holiday shoppers with a new digital destination.

Uber Technologies Inc. is launching what it calls a “one-stop shop” for holiday consumers.

Following up the September 2021 opening of its seasonally-themed online store, The Holiday Shop, the company is now offering a “holiday hub” on the Uber Eats on-demand delivery platform. The hub will expand and rotate seasonally throughout 2022 and beyond to accommodate various holidays.

The new hub will also be home to the Holiday Shop, which will offer on-demand delivery and pick-up of Christmas trees and more to customers in Los Angeles, San Diego, and West Palm Beach, as well as wreaths in New York City during the 2021 holiday season. An exclusive partnership with Proper Companies' holiday division (which includes Mr. Jingles Christmas Trees and Mr. Jack O' Lanterns Pumpkin Patch) enables Uber to provide two-to-four-foot trees, wreaths (in New York City only), and tree preservative for delivery, as well as five-to-10-foot trees for pickup.

To access the Uber holiday hub, customers can open the Uber Eats app and tap the "Holiday" billboard (or search with holiday emojis including Santa, Mrs. Claus, and Christmas tree) to obtain access to a wide range of retailers and their holiday aisles. Participating retailers include Rite Aid, GoPuff, and Walgreens.

Uber has been attempting to broaden the type of on-demand services it offers. The company recently finalized an approximately $1.1 billion acquisition of Drizly, a Boston-based liquor delivery service. Over the coming months, Drizly’s marketplace will be featured within the Uber Eats app, while also maintaining a separate Drizly app and web experience. At the time the merger was initially announced, Drizly said it plans to innovate and expand independently in the on-demand liquor delivery sector, while also gaining access to the advanced mobile marketplace technologies of Uber.

Meanwhile, other on-demand delivery platforms are also opening digital stores that combine the curated assortment and quick fulfillment of a brick-and-mortar outlet with the connectivity and reach of a website or app. In August 2020, DoorDash took the pioneering step of opening its own online storefronts, stocked by participating retailers.

Known as DashMart, this banner offers both household essentials and local restaurant products for on-demand delivery. In November 2021, DoorDash began leveraging its DashMart online convenience channel to support delivery of grocery and CPG items in 10-15 minutes. The on-demand delivery platform is introducing ultrafast grocery delivery in New York City, fulfilling orders from a DoorDash hub in Manhattan.

And in September 2021, Instacart teamed up with Kroger to open an online convenience store with on-demand delivery. Known as Kroger Delivery Now, the new service features an assortment of 25,000 convenience items from Kroger’s inventory and fulfills orders from the grocer’s existing network of more than 2,700 stores across a variety of banners. Instacart customers will also be able to shop the Kroger Delivery Now convenience assortment for 30-minute fulfillment via the new Instacart Convenience Hub. 

From Dec. 1-31, 2021, Uber Eats customers will receive $20 off orders of $60 or more from gifting retailers and specialty food stores, including Mr. Jingles and Bed Bath & Beyond. As always, Uber One members will receive $0 delivery fee on eligible orders of $15 or more.