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Ice Cream, Kittens and Now Christmas Trees: Uber Aims to Be More Than a Car Service

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Uber, the popular car service app that has acted as taxi substitute, carpool service and even babysitter, is now a Christmas Tree delivery service too… at least for Thursday.

UberTree aims to save customers the hassle of strapping a tree to the top of their car and wrangling it through their front door. Uber is delivering trees from a local Home Depot to customers’ homes and will be available in select major cities from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, according to Uber’s website, for the steep price of $135 (which includes the price of the tree).

The jump from car service to tree deliverer seems a bit odd. It could be another marketing stunt: Over the summer Uber allowed customers to request ice cream trucks on demand, and in October, you could request the Uber staff to bring kittens to your home or office for a short snuggle session. Both moves got a good deal of press and Twitter chatter. The tree stunt will be great publicity for a still-growing company looking for customers.

But Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has also said that he wants to move beyond taxis and develop Uber into a urban logistics firm. Investors are banking on the prospect that Uber can become a transport-anything delivery system — think food, packages, gifts.

Experimenting with ice cream, kittens and Christmas trees could be a first step — and a smart one, because who doesn’t love all three of those things?

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Write to Eliana Dockterman at eliana.dockterman@time.com