“Uber adds store pickup, reindeer robot delivery for the holidays” by Erin Cabrey via Retail Brew

“Uber adds store pickup, reindeer robot delivery for the holidays” by Erin Cabrey via Retail Brew

Image courtesy of Uber

The new service grows Uber’s reach beyond the delivery and rideshare service’s current retail partners.

This week, Uber announced a series of new features to deliver convenience and a little holiday spirit to its consumers.

The rideshare and delivery service added Store Pickup via Uber Connect, which delivers prepaid items from local stores to users’ homes, or drops off gifts to nearby locations. Uber is growing its reach by offering the service to retailers beyond its official partners.

  • Consumers must upload a receipt or proof of purchase to the Uber app, and deliveries must cost under $200 and weigh a maximum of 30 pounds. The service is now offered across 1,700 US locations, including Boston, Los Angeles, and Austin.
  • Store Pickup allows the courier to “actually be sort of a Secret Santa,” Wendy Lee, Uber’s director of delivery product management, told Pymnts.

The company is also working to ease the return process this holiday, providing free returns through the first week of January. First introduced in October, Package Returns offers Uber One members courier pickup for up to five prepaid and sealed packages to be returned through a post office, UPS, or FedEx store. It’s available in 3,800+ locations.

The company has also added festive options to Uber Eats, including a Gift Hub with celeb-curated picks and a Grinch-themed gift set. Uber Eats users in Los Angeles, Miami, and Fairfax, Virginia, will also be treated to holiday-themed food delivery this month, as Robot Reindeer clad in antlers and red noses have joined the service’s delivery fleet.

New York City Uber Eats users will also notice some changes this month. A New York state appeals court last week upheld the city’s first minimum-wage standard for app-based delivery workers, which had received pushback from Uber, DoorDash, and Grubhub after it was first announced in June. In response, Uber Eats has imposed a $2 fee for all NYC orders, and will only allow customers to tip workers once the delivery is completed.

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