According to a new report by the Los Angeles Times, Amazon is blazing into the holiday season with a new option for its customers, Sunday deliveries. The deliveries are part of a joint effort with the United States Postal Service, which plans to use flexible worker schedules to cover the delivery routes instead of hiring new employees. For now, the Sunday delivery option is only available to customers in Los Angeles and New York metro areas, but it will become available to customers in other large cities beginning next year, including New Orleans, Dallas, and Phoenix. Customers of Amazon’s Prime package already have free two-day shipping included in their services, but until now orders placed on Friday took until Monday to be delivered. The new agreement with the USPS means that Prime customers can now receive two-day shipping for any order, at least in these select cities.
This is not Amazon’s first move to up their customer service game. The Internet retail giant has already begun setting up distribution centers closer to customers in select delivery areas to service orders faster, and has an agreement with Proctor and Gamble to operate distribution centers directly from some of their warehouse facilities.
An Amazon spokesperson says that the announcement on Sunday deliveries just happened to fall during the busy holiday shopping season, but was already planned to launch once the infrastructure was in place. The USPS was a good match for the program, since the management needed to raise additional revenue as letter deliveries drop and the USPS struggles with money troubles.
According to a spokesperson for the USPS, though letter deliveries are down tremendously, the company’s deliveries of packages is way up. Though Amazon is the only retailer playing the Sunday delivery card so far, other online stores are working toward better next day and same day deliveries, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Google Inc. Amazon hopes this will be a hard act to follow.