The news was revealed in a broader report about the end of Walmart’s partnership with Uber to deliver online grocery orders to customers in the US.
Announced with great fanfare two years ago, the delivery deal was billed as a way for Walmart to compete with Amazon in the e-commerce space and it quickly launched in four US markets.
But even as the retail giant was ramping up the partnership, saying earlier this year that Uber would help it bring grocery delivery to more than 40 per cent of the country, the ride-hailing service was planning to shutter its entire delivery program.
According to a recent report by Reuters, Uber informed Walmart in March that it would cease delivery operations on June 30. Walmart spokesperson Molly Blakeman confirmed the end of the partnership, but did not disclose the reason. Uber spokesperson Ellen Cohn told Reuters about the decision to end the Rush program, which delivered groceries as well as clothes, flowers and other goods.
She said Rush was an “experiment” and the company has decided to focus on its restaurant delivery service UberEats, which generated US$1.1 billion, or about 10 per cent of the company’s overall revenue, in the fourth quarter last year.
Uber has been contacted for comment on whether its partnership with Coles is run through the Rush program, and whether it will be impacted by the decision, but had not received a reply at the time of publication. Other local retailers, such as Edible Blooms, offer delivery through UberEats and presumably will not be affected.
Walmart will reportedly use other delivery service providers to continue offering delivery for online grocery orders in the markets where it previously used Uber and plans to scale grocery delivery in future.