NEW YORK -- Amazon is teaming up with the U.S. Postal Service to deliver packages on Sundays.
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The Seattle company says Sunday delivery will be available this week to customers in the New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas. Amazon and the Postal Service plan to roll out service to "a large portion of the U.S. population" next year, including the cities of Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, and Phoenix.
Amazon expects Sunday delivery to be popular with members of its Prime service, which costs $79 a year and comes with free two-day shipping on many items on the site as well as access to Amazon's TV and movie streaming service. But Sunday delivery will be available to all Amazon customers.
"For Prime members, it's free, for non-Prime members, it's like any other delivery day of the week," said Dave Clark, vice president of worldwide operations and customer service at Amazon. It won't cost extra to get a package delivered on a Sunday.
Sunday delivery has been on Amazon's wish list for a long time. The company does not disclose the percentage of its packages that are delivered on weekends, but Clark expects customers "to be delighted that they will get their products on a weekend."
Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed, but the deal is likely to give the financially ailing Postal Service a boost. The agency, which lost $16 billion last year, had tried but failed to end Saturday mail delivery as a cost-saving measure.
Shares of Amazon.com Inc. climbed $2.37 to $352.68 in midday trading.