Google Express has been expanding slowly but steadily since it first launched back in 2013, but now it looks like Google could be scaling back and rethinking its strategy for the delivery service in its own backyard.
Re/code reports that Google is shutting down its Express hubs in San Francisco and Mountain View. The service currently operates in seven major cities, but the hub model is unique to the Bay Area. The company apparently started winding down in SF in late June after alerting its retail partners, while the Mountain View hub will close within the next few months.
It’s unclear exactly what went wrong with Google Express, though the service apparently hasn’t caught on as quickly as the company originally hoped. Google also lost several key executives related to the program in the past year. On top of that, Express drivers in California are apparently planning to unionize.
Google’s new strategy may hinge on outsourcing the delivery process. The company has allegedly already met with several potential partners, including startups like Postmates and Flywheel. That could help simplify the process for Google, though it may also mean higher prices as a result.