As predicted a year and a half ago, Uber has much bigger plans than being just "everyone's private driver." As Tech Crunch is reporting via some leaked training docs, Uber's in the process of securing partnerships with hundreds of retailers nationwide (and probably worldwide) in order to provide on-demand, same-day delivery of goods via their Uber Rush service something they started testing last year in L.A. and D.C. with lunch delivery and corner-store-goods delivery respectively. They've also tested or fully launched their UberEats and UberFresh programs in New York, Chicago, and elsewhere as they ramp up to becoming a worldwide, same-day-delivery powerhouse.
Per some unnamed sources, Uber already has Neiman Marcus, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany’s, Cohen’s Fashion Optical, and Hugo Boss interested, and there are some 400 merchants either in talks or already in testing with the company. And Spring, the mobile shopping app, appears to be involved as a partner as well.
Uber of course has tried to say, especially as they're hammered with lawsuits from drivers, that they're not car service company but rather a software company but as was pointed out in this 2013 piece in New York Magazine, they're actually building a huge logistics infrastructure as they expand their car service app across the globe, which could ultimately be even more lucrative as a pick-up and delivery tool for everything from rented items to groceries.
And, according to TechCrunch's source, "Uber’s original plan for merchant delivery focused on large e-commerce retailers like Amazon and eBay, but found that sourcing inventory from warehouses wasn’t worth the effort. Getting inventory from local stores, on the other hand, is possible as long as the vendor has control over the amount and type of inventory available in a single day."
So, brace yourselves for Uber to become even more uber-present very soon.