Update 6:19 a.m. PT: Uber confirms that the service will launch today.
Uber is set to launch an on-demand product delivery service in Washington D.C. today, dubbed “Corner Store,” according to a company blog post that was briefly released this morning and later pulled. The re-posted announcement is available here.
Starting today, a limited set of Uber users can order convenience store goods — such as “allergy medicine, diapers, toothpaste and over 100 other items” — via Uber’s app.
The experiment mirrors numerous competing on-demand delivery services, including Postmates, the declining eBay Now, and WunWun. It appears that Uber, however, will handle all deliveries by car, unlike its competitors, which largely rely on bike messengers. As a result, the Corner Store launch will not coincide with a D.C. launch of Uber’s Uber Rush bike courier service.
The on-demand delivery space is already quite hot, and thus far Uber has only dabbled with promotional deliveries in New York. This may explain why Uber is testing the service in Washington D.C. and not in over-saturated markets like San Francisco and New York.
According to Uber, the experiment “will run for a few weeks.” But, Uber hints, “the more you love it, the more likely it will last.”
Here’s a full list of the items Uber will deliver:
ALLERGY RELIEF, BABY, BATH & BODY, CANDY, COLD & COUGH, DIGESTION & NAUSEA, EYE CARE, FEMININE CARE, FIRST AID, GIFT, HAIR CARE, HOUSEHOLD, MEN’S GROOMING, OFFICE, ORAL CARE, PAIN RELIEVER, SEXUAL WELLNESS, SLEEPING & SNORING AIDS, VITAMINS & SUPPLEMENTS, WOMEN’S BEAUTY
And here’s the delivery zone:
Uber’s product delivery service has been in the works for a long time, judging from its past experiments with companies like Quirky, and the idea makes quite a bit of sense. Uber already has much of the infrastructure in place to move anything — from people to products — from point A to point B. Depending on the results of the test, we may see Uber’s Corner Store launch in other cities soon.