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Uber Eats beefs up its grocery delivery offer as COVID-19 lockdowns continue

Uber Eats has beefed up grocery delivery options in three markets hard hit by the coronavirus.

Uber’s food delivery division said today it’s inked a partnership with supermarket giant Carrefour in France to provide Parisians with 30 minute home delivery on a range of grocery products, including everyday foods, toiletries and cleaning products.

The service is starting with 15 stores in the city, with Uber Eats saying it plans to scale it out rapidly nationwide “in the coming weeks”.

In Spain it’s partnered with the Galp service station brand to offer a grocery delivery service that consists of basic foods, over the counter medicines, beverages and cleaning products in 15 cities across the following 8 provinces: Badajoz, Barcelona, Cádiz, Córdoba, Madrid, Málaga, Palma de Mallorca and Valencia.

Uber Eats said there will be an initial 25 Galp convenience stores participating. The service will not only be offered via the Uber Eats app but also by phone for those without access to a smartphone or Internet.

The third market it’s inked deals in is Brazil, where Uber said it’s partnering with a range of pharmacies, convenience stores and pet shops in Sao Paulo to offer home delivery on basic supplies.

“Over the counter medicines will be available from the Pague Menos chain of pharmacies, grocery products from Shell Select convenience stores and pet supplies from Cobasi — one of the largest pet shop chains in the country,” it said. “The new services will be available on the Uber Eats app, with plans to launch in other Brazil states and cities in the coming weeks.”

The grocery tie-ups are not Uber Eats’ first such deals. The company had already inked partnerships with a supermarket in Australia (Coles) and the Costcutter brand in the UK, where around 600 independent convenience stores are offered via its app.

Uber Eats also lets independent convenience stores in countries around the world self listed on its app. However the latest tie-ups put more branded meat on the bone of its grocery offer in Europe and LatAm — with the Carrefour tie-up in France marking its first partnership with a major supermarket in Europe.

It’s worth noting Spain’s food delivery rival, Glovo, has an existing grocery-delivery partnership with the French supermarket giant in markets including its home country — which likely explains why Uber Eats has opted for a different partner in Spain.

Asked whether it’s looking to further expand grocery deliveries in other markets hit by the public health emergency Uber Eats told us it’s exploring opportunities to partner with more supermarkets, convenience stores and other retailers around the world.

As part of its response to the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has switched all deliveries to contactless by default — with orders left at the door or as instructed by a user.

It also told us it’s providing drivers and delivery people with access to hand sanitiser, gloves and disinfectant wipes, as soon as they become available. And said it’s dispensing guidance to users of its apps on hygiene best practice and limiting the spread of the virus.

Uber Eats has previously said it will provide 14 days of financial support for drivers and delivery people who get diagnosed with COVID-19 or are personally placed in quarantine by a public health authority due to their risk of spreading the virus, with the amount based on their average earnings over the last six months or less.

The policy is due for review on April 6.

Amazon asks all employees to work from home, if they can

Amazon issued guidance Thursday in response to the COVID-19 outbreak recommending that global employees who are able to work from home to do so through the end of March.

“We continue to work closely with public and private medical experts to ensure we are taking the right precautions as the situation continues to evolve,” an Amazon spokesperson said in an email statement. “As a result, we are now recommending that all of our employees globally who are able to work from home do so through the end of March.”

Earlier this week, Amazon said it would provide two weeks of extra paid time off for full and part-time employees who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine. This is in addition to unlimited unpaid time off for all hourly employees through the end of March. The company said it will continue to pay all hourly employees, including food service, janitorial and security staff, who support its offices around the world.

Amazon employs some 798,000 employees. While some Amazon office workers will be able to work from home, the vast majority of its workforce have jobs that require them to be on site. The company is reliant on tens of thousands of delivery drivers and employees who work at the more than 100 order fulfillment centers.

Amazon’s move follows the call from global health officials to take measure to slow the spread of COVID-19, a disease caused by a new virus that is a member of the coronavirus family and a close cousin to the SARS and MERS viruses. COVID-19 has caused governments and companies to cancel tech, business and automotive events around the world, including the NCAA March Madness basketball tournaments, professional sports games in the NBA and NHL, the Geneva International Motor Show, MWC in Barcelona and the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. Disneyland and California Adventure will close through the end of the month.

It has also prompted companies to recommend its employees to work from home. Google href=”https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/10/google-expands-work-from-home-recommendation-to-all-north-american-employees-establishes-covid-19-fund/”> expanded its work-from-home recommendation to include all employees in North America. Box, Lyft, Microsoft and Twitter have also issued memos to employees to recommend or require staff to work from home. In some cases, companies have committed to maintaining wages in spite of reduced hours.

New York Auto Show delayed until August

Organizers of the 2020 New York International Auto Show have postponed the event until August due to concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak.

The New York Auto Show, which is organized by the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, was scheduled to begin April 10 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

The event will now be held August 28 to September 6, according to a statement from Chris Sams, the show’s spokesman. Press days are August 26 and 27.

“We are taking this extraordinary step to help protect our attendees, exhibitors and all participants from the coronavirus,” Mark Schienberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, said in an emailed statement. “For 120 years, ‘the show must go on’ has been heavily embedded in our DNA, and while the decision to move the show dates didn’t come easy, our top priority remains with the health and well-being of all those involved in this historic event. We have already been in communication with many of our exhibitors and partners and are confident that the new dates for the 2020 Show will make for another successful event,” Schienberg added.

The New York Auto Show joins a growing list of events that have been cancelled or delayed due to concerns about COVID-19, a disease caused by a new virus that is a member of the coronavirus family. COVID-19, which is a close cousin to the SARS and MERS viruses that have caused outbreaks in the past, has caused governments and companies to cancel tech, business and automotive events around the world.

Just yesterday, Cadillac announced plans to cancel the unveiling of its new electric vehicle at a special event next month in Los Angeles. The Geneva International Motor Show was cancelled, as well as MWC in Barcelona and the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.