My colleague Matt Yglesias will have more on this on Moneybox later, but for now here’s the big news for the struggling U.S. Postal Service and pretty-clear-not-struggling Amazon, via the Los Angeles Times:
Giant online retailer Amazon.com Inc. is turning up the heat on rivals this holiday season and beyond under a new deal with the U.S. Postal Service for delivering packages on Sundays. Starting this week, the postal service will bring Amazon packages on Sundays to shoppers’ doors in the Los Angeles and New York metropolitan areas at no extra charge. Next year, it plans to roll out year-round Sunday delivery to Dallas, New Orleans, Phoenix and other cities. …
Members of Amazon’s Prime program have free two-day shipping and, under the new deal, can order items Friday and receive them Sunday. Customers without Prime will pay the standard shipping costs associated with business day delivery.
As anyone who leaves their shopping to the last possible moment knows, Sundays are normally a delivery-free day (UPS doesn’t deliver on the day, and FedEx largely doesn’t either). By teaming with USPS, Amazon cements itself as the online retailer of choice. The post office, meanwhile, finds itself a new and possibly lucrative revenue stream at a time when most of its existing ones are running dry. The organization lost nearly $16 billion in its last fiscal year and expects to lose another $6 billion this year.