retail news in context, analysis with attitude

•  The Boston Globe reports that Travis Kalanick, the former Uber CEO, is planning to bring his CloudKitchens "ghost kitchen" startup to the Boston area, having bought a warehouse in Roxbury from which he plans to make food deliveries from restaurant-operated commercial kitchen space.

The story notes, however, that the project has hit a number of potholes - Kalanick has trimmed by half the number of restaurants he wants to host in the facility (the original number was 53), and he's now in negotiations to sell 65 percent of his warehouse space to City Fresh Foods, which "delivers food to homebound seniors, schools, and care centers."

The Globe writes:

"CloudKitchens is trying to reimagine how restaurants sell food in a world where more people order delivery online. It’s no easy task, but there’s reason to believe Kalanick, Uber’s ex-CEO, would be up for the challenge. Though he was eventually pushed out after several scandals and complaints of gender discrimination and sexual harassment at the ride app company, he played a critical role in jolting the long stagnant taxi industry.

"His new company says it offers a way for restaurants to capitalize on the food delivery boom. A restaurant might lease kitchen space to grow their delivery business, without the cost of opening another brick-and-mortar location. Or it could be a way for companies with no physical presence in an area to expand though delivery-only. CloudKitchens already has dozens of food delivery hubs across the country, including in California, Arizona, and Rhode Island."



•  Bloomberg reports that "Uber Technologies Inc. is partnering with Tesco Plc to advance high-speed delivery at the U.K.’s largest grocer. 

"As part of the deal, the network of Uber Eats couriers will also fulfill orders from Tesco.com and the retailer’s app, Uber said Tuesday. The partnership will start in 20 stores across the U.K. from Edinburgh to Portsmouth and will guarantee delivery within one hour."