Uber Offloading Drizly

Company acquired alcohol delivery service in 2021
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
a woman smiling for the camera
Uber’s Completes Milestone Deal With Drizly
Uber, which has scaled back its Cornershop grocery delivery service, is shuttering its Drizly alcohol delivery business only a few years after buying it for $1.1 billion.

Three years after acquiring the alcohol delivery company Drizly for $1.1 billion, Uber is closing that arm of its business. According to a report by Axios, redundancy was a factor in the decision, along with the different delivery models; Drizly orders are fulfilled by liquor stores, while Uber has its own workers handle those tasks.

Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, SVP of delivery at San Francisco, Calif.-based Uber, explained the move to Axios. "After three years of Drizly operating independently within the Uber family, we've decided to close the business and focus on our core Uber Eats strategy of helping consumers get almost anything — from food to groceries to alcohol — all on a single app," he said.

Drizly CEO Cathy Lewenberg confirmed the news in a LinkedIn post, noting that the company will shutter this year.  "I am incredibly proud of the Drizly, an Uber Company team, transforming an industry to meet the expectations of consumers,” she wrote, adding, "We powered tens of millions of deliveries and helped millions of customers savor life’s moments – engagements, housewarmings, new additions to the family (those of the fur kind included), and all the moments in between. We helped small & mid-size retailers grow and played a pivotal role during the pandemic in keeping people safe and in their homes.”

Drizly was founded in 2012 and bought by Uber in October 2021. The adult beverage delivery service has been available in 35 U.S. states. 

[Read more: “Wegmans, Instacart Partner to Bring Alcohol Delivery to New Jersey”]

In other news, Uber recently responded to the U.S. Department of Labor’s final rule on worker classification under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Issued on Jan. 10 and effective on March 11, the rule rescinds the 2021 independent contractor rule and replaces it with guidance for how to analyze employee and independent contractor classifications, using six factors to determine if a person is economically dependent on a company and therefore deemed an employee.

The company issued a statement, declaring in part, “This rule does not materially change the law under which we operate, and will not impact the classification of the over one million Americans who turn to Uber to earn money flexibly. Drivers across the country have made it overwhelmingly clear — in their comments on this rule and in survey after survey — that they do not want to lose the unique independence they enjoy. As this rule is implemented, we look forward to working with the Biden administration and making sure they continue to hear directly from drivers.”

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