Amazon will partner with the U.S. Postal Service to deliver packages on Sunday, starting in the Los Angeles and New York areas.
The online retail giant said Amazon Prime members, who get unlimited, free two-day shipping on millions of items, can now receive their packages on Sunday in these areas.
Amazon and the U.S. Postal Service plan to roll out this service to a large portion of the U.S. population in 2014 including Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Phoenix.
“If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can order a backpack for your child on Friday and be packing it for them Sunday night,” said Dave Clark, Amazon’s vice president of worldwide operations and customer service.
Amazon is seeking to intensifying competition with Target and other established retailers. It’s also facing competition from online-shopping websites with fast delivery services. For example, eBay offers deliveries under an hour for some products every day, while Walmart provides a same-day delivery service for groceries and household goods.
“As online shopping continues to increase, the Postal Service is very happy to offer shippers like Amazon the option of having packages delivered on Sunday,” said Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer. “With this new service, the Postal Service is now delivering packages seven days a week in select cities. Customers can expect the same reliable and valued service that the Postal Service currently provides.”
To participate, Amazon customers adding eligible items to their cart will see the Sunday delivery option at checkout — when available in their region.
Amazon won’t change shipping prices for customers on Sunday deliveries, which will add to the fulfillment costs that made up the largest component of the online retailer’s expenses in the third quarter.