Mike Shedlock
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The US post office was contemplating stopping Saturday delivery to reduce costs. Instead, the post office has gone the other way, at least for packages.

The LA Times reports U.S. Postal Service to deliver Amazon packages on Sundays.

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.

To pull off Sunday delivery for Amazon, the postal service plans to use its flexible scheduling of employees, Brennan said. It doesn't plan to add employees, she said.

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 consumers increasingly move online to shop, retailers are finding that their shipping policies can be a bellwether of customer loyalty. Though not necessarily offering Sunday delivery, many are testing same-day service.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is testing same-day delivery service in northern Virginia, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Denver and the San Francisco and San Jose region. Last month, EBay Inc. agreed to acquire Shutl, a London start-up that uses a network of same-day couriers to deliver goods ordered online in hours, even minutes.

In March, Google Inc. said it would test a same-day delivery service called Google Shopping Express for online purchases in the Bay Area. Specialty sporting goods store Sport Chalet Inc. began offering a similar service in April.

But adding Sunday service takes the competition to a new level.
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Mike Shedlock

Mike Shedlock is a registered investment advisor representative for Sitka Pacific Capital Management.