- Uber and French retailer Carrefour have launched a high-speed grocery-delivery service in Paris, the companies announced in a press release on Tuesday.
- The new service, which is known as Carrefour Sprint and exclusively available on the Uber Eats app, will provide delivery in 15 minutes or less of nearly 2,000 items, including produce, dry goods and cleaning products.
- The partnership represents the latest move by Uber to strengthen its position in the highly competitive grocery-delivery business.
Uber's arrangement with Carrefour builds on an existing relationship between the companies to provide grocery delivery in France using the Uber Eats app. But while the companies have until now concentrated on fulfilling orders from Carrefour's retail stores in 30 minutes, the new venture aims to rush a more limited assortment of essential goods to customers in half that amount of time using dark stores.
Uber and Carrefour expect to expand the Carrefour Sprint service beyond Paris to the French cities of Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Nantes, Nice and Toulouse "in the coming weeks" and have 20 locations offering rapid delivery across the nine cities by the end of the year, according to the press release.
Carrefour Sprint's Parisian instant delivery service will rely on a network of nine micro-fulfillment facilities run by French startup Cajoo, which counts the retail chain as an investor. Carrefour was part of a group of investors that recently poured $40 million into Cajoo as the startup competes with a range of companies, including Getir, Gorillas and Weezy, that collectively have attracted hundreds of millions of dollars in investments to roll out instant delivery in European markets.
Earlier this month, Carrefour began offering pickup service in Paris via automated pickup lockers operated by the startup Delipop.
For Uber, the expansion of its partnership with Carrefour is an opportunity for the U.S. company to deepen the role its online platform plays in Europe's rapidly growing grocery delivery market and grow its global grocery presence.
Uber has recorded a 620% increase in demand for grocery delivery in Europe through Uber Eats over the past year, according to the announcement. More than 9,000 grocery stores in 200 cities are listed on Uber Eats across Europe, the Middle East and Africa combined. In France, nearly 2,000 grocery stores reaching 60% of the country's population make groceries available for delivery through Uber Eats.
Uber's grocery delivery expansion in the United States has unfolded slowly since it launched in mid-2020. In May, Uber linked up with Gopuff on an "everyday essentials" delivery service. In July, Albertsons added Uber's service to about 1,200 stores under several banners — a move that put Uber on track to expand its grocery delivery business nationwide by the end of 2021.