Uber is stepping back from the on-demand delivery business — at least, for now.

Last week, the cash-flush company quietly announced the shuttering of its product delivery pilot, UberEssentials. The service was originally tested in select areas of Washington D.C. over the summer (under the name “Corner Store”), and it later expanded to serve all of D.C. until sometime in January.

In true Uber form, UberEssentials was pitched as a “limited-time-only experiment.” But, Uber said at the time, “the more you love it, the more likely it will last.” It’s probably unfair to call an intentionally temporary experiment a true “shutdown.” Still, perhaps this service wasn’t loved enough to last?

Uber said otherwise, in a statement to VentureBeat [emphasis ours]:

What we found with UberEssentials is people loved the convenience of using the Uber platform to get their everyday household products on-demand. The experiment allowed us to identify what our users valued about the service, as well as areas where we can make the experience even better.

For now, Uber’s next steps in this crowded sector remain unclear. We’ve heard word that the company was at one point in talks was various New York retailers to expand its on-demand delivery ambitions, but for now Uber is sticking with its courier service (UberRush). We’ve reached out to Uber for more, but so far the company hasn’t shared anything new.

Via: Mike Isaac

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