Amazon has partnered with the United States Postal Service to offer Sunday package delivery in New York City and Los Angeles. The initiative is believed to be mutually beneficial. The USPS gets to expand one of the only areas where it is actually making money – package shipment. Amazon can more closely compete with the brick and mortar stores that boast Sunday hours.
“Amazon’s been working for a long time to try to eradicate all of the inconveniences of online shopping, so we’ve seen that with same day and next day shipping and the free shipping for Prime members,” said Brad Stone, author of "The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon." and senior writer for BusinessWeek. “Sunday delivery was always a big omission – You can roll out to Target or Walmart or the store down the street and pick up something and get that immediate gratification. “
Scott hypothesized that the Sunday delivery service is being rolled out in New York and L.A. because those cities are high-density areas with strong customer bases and the infrastructure necessary to make Sunday delivery cost efficient. Amazon does plan to expand to other regions in 2014.
A spokeswoman for USPS said that Amazon will lead any expansion efforts, but those efforts will be based on the capabilities of both parties.
The USPS has said it plans to offer Sunday delivery options to other online retailers like Walmart and Target, but Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Cheeseman said Amazon is not afraid of the competition.
“I can’t speak to what others can do, but I can say we have developed a lot of innovative technology and other infrastructure to help us enable this Sunday delivery for our customers, and we think it won’t be easily replicated,” Cheeseman told KUOW. “But at the same time we’re just excited to bring an additional delivery day to our customers.”
Plus, they get to say they were the first.
“The strategy has always been, bring people into a service and they kind of turn into Amazon addicts,” said Stone, speaking to The Record's Ross Reynolds. “So it’s another bet by Bezos that over the long term the company will recoup the money that it spends on this particular service.”