Is Uber planning an on-demand service for luxury shopping deliveries?

Lynsey Barber
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Luxury shopping on demand a not to distant dream?

Uber could be delivering more than just people from A to B: the controversial taxi app is said to be eyeing a move into shopping deliveries.

Not just any kind of delivery, though - Uber doesn't want to be the next Ocado. It wants to deliver luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Tiffany's, Hugo Boss and Neiman Marcus to online shoppers who don't want to leave home, but still want their goodies the same day, according to TechCrunch.

The company apparently has ambitious plans to create couriers out of Uber drivers, expanding smaller initiatives which it already has running such as UberRush and a partnership with US mobile shopping app Spring.

UberRush is available to New Yorkers, letting them get any items picked up and delivered at the tap of a phone screen.

The startup, which is currently valued at more than $40bn, has also partnered with Spring to test deliveries with a selection of high-end brands such as sunglasses -maker Illesteva and jeans brand Industry Standard.

The tech blog has obtained documents, apparently from driver training manuals, which outline a pilot merchant delivery scheme.

“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,” Uber commented to Tech Crunch.

The company dabbles in other kinds of deliveries already. UberEat launched just this week to bring fresh food to your door in New York City and Chicago after being piloted in Barcelona and Los Angeles. There's also the more gimmicky UberKittens - yep, that's delivering tiny kittens to offices for 15 minutes of cat cuddling in an effort to encourage people to adopt unwanted kittens.

However, the new delivery plans indicate the service will be fully integrated into the existing app technology used by Uber drivers to pick up people, suggesting it's likely to be a much more serious operation.

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