Uber is testing out a retail delivery program that would provide online shoppers with same-day delivery of goods via UberRush and Uber drivers, according to documents obtained by TechCrunch.
Sources said Neiman Marcus, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany's, Cohen's Fashion Optical and Hugo Boss are all in talks with Uber over the Merchant Delivery program, and there are potentially more than 400 retailers in talks with Uber to join the same-day delivery initiative.
Spring, a mobile shopping app, is part of the initial test and is being tried by a limited set of brands. An email from the company offered Spring and UberRush for a limited time to brands such as illesteva, Bing Bang Jewlery, Phyllis + Rosie, Mack Weldon, Jinsoon, Industry Standard, Outdoor Voices and Negative Underwear.
Spring's technology allows retailers to list the exact amount and type of inventory available at any given time. Traditional retailers may have a harder time transitioning to the Uber delivery system since it requires data on locally available merchandise.
"Experimenting and finding new, creative ways for the Uber app to provide even greater value to our riders and driver partners is a way of life at Uber. We have been piloting UberRush with multiple retailers for the last year," an Uber spokesperson told TechCrunch.
Though Uber's passenger app and delivery orders are different, eventually drivers will be able to transport both passengers and merchant orders simultaneously through an intelligent routing system integrated into a single app.
Uber has launched several new delivery programs in the past few months, including UberFresh and UberEats. The company is competing with other growing local delivery services such as Instacart and now Amazon's Prime Now, which offers one-hour delivery in six U.S. cities.
-See this TechCrunch article
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