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Amazon Customers in L.A., N.Y. to Get Sunday Postal Deliveries

12 Nov, 2013 By: Doug McPherson

SEATTLE – Amazon and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) have announced a deal that will deliver goods to Amazon Prime customers in the Los Angeles and New York City areas on Sundays during the holiday season at no charge beyond the normal $79 yearly fee the members already pay.

Plans exist to expand the service next year to “a large portion of the U.S. population,” including members in Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Phoenix.

Dave Clark, Amazon’s vice president of worldwide operations and customer service, said in a statement that Amazon Prime members “can order a backpack … on Friday and be packing it … Sunday night.”

Insiders say the deal gives the USPS a chance to take some business from United Parcel Service (UPS) and FedEx, and help Amazon gain an edge over competitors like Walmart.

The Washington Post’s Cecilia Kang said the arrangement with Amazon “could open the doors to more partnerships with retailers who are eager to use the 500,000 USPS employees and 31,000 post offices across the country to satisfy consumers who want to get what they buy online faster.”

Los Angeles Times’ reporter Tiffany Hsu wrote, “The deal could be a boon for the Postal Service, which has been struggling with mounting financial losses and has been pushing to limit general letter mail delivery to five days a week.”

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has proclaimed that the future of package delivery is a seven-day-a-week schedule. “We've got the capacity to do it,” he told USA Today.

Analysts report that the USPS expects a 12-percent increase in package delivery this season over last year, but “it is in a precarious financial condition. The organization lost $15.9 billion in its last fiscal year and expects a loss of $6 billion this year.”

Amazon said customers who opt for Amazon Prime, the service that offers free two-day shipping and Netflix-like streaming video, buy twice as much as non-Prime members. Reportedly, Amazon has more than 10 million Prime customers, with the company claiming to have added “millions” in the past quarter alone.

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