Uber is teaming up with Office Depot to bring on-demand office and school supplies to the Uber Eats platform. It’s the latest effort by the ride-hailing company to diversify its delivery options beyond takeout and groceries.
Starting today, Uber Eats customers can place orders from 900 Office Depot and OfficeMax locations across the country. “From ink and toner, to backpacks, binders, and more, consumers will be able to shop for thousands of items and have them delivered right to their door,” the company says.
In addition, members of Uber’s monthly subscription service, Uber One, will receive special benefits, like free delivery and a 5 percent discount on all orders with a $15 minimum purchase.
Uber has been pushing into new delivery categories for several years as it seeks to broaden its selections as a way to better compete with rivals like DoorDash, Grubhub, and Instacart as well as the new crop of ultra-fast grocery startups like Gopuff and Fridge No More. (Although it may be that the moment has already passed for those companies.)
To help fuel its grocery delivery expansion, Uber has acquired a number of smaller startups in recent months, including Postmates, Cornershop, and Drizly. The company also partnered with Gopuff, which specializes in delivering “essential” or “instant need” items like liquor, beauty and pet products, snacks, and over-the-counter medication.
Using Uber the old-school way — to get a ride somewhere — is more expensive than it’s ever been. Fares are up by as much as 40 percent, but the company also recently reported $382 million in free cash flow for the first time ever, an indication that the rideshare company’s “hardcore” effort to rein in costs is starting to pay off, even in the midst of a cooling economy.