retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Associated Press reports that the US Postal Service (USPS) is offering retailers a new option - cheap next-day service with packages delivered Sundays to customers’ homes.

According to the story, “The program, available in 20 major U.S. cities, allows consumers to place online orders with participating retailers before a cutoff time Saturday, the Postal Service said. Postal carriers pick up merchandise from local stores for delivery the next day, similar to the Sunday package deliveries it now handles almost exclusively for online leader Amazon in much of the US.”

Walmart has said it is considering signing on with the USPS for this program.

The AP also provides some context: “The next-day weekend service is part of the Postal Service’s aggressive push into the parcel business at a time when its more lucrative first-class mail is declining in the digital age. With Amazon continuing to raise the bar of ‘free shipping’ conveniences, from one- or two-day package arrivals to keyless in-home delivery via couriers, the financially beleaguered post office is billing itself as the trusted, low-cost carrier already serving every U.S. household.”
KC's View:
This is the kind of stuff that the USPS has to do if it is going to be both relevant and competitive … offering better, faster, more effective and efficient service that really takes advantage of the organization’s expansive infrastructure. Forget about dithering about the cost of a first class stamp … the USPS has to aim to be the first, best choice for anyone looking to ship a package.