Good Grief USPS!

The USPS is rolling out Sunday package delivery in Los Angeles and New York this fall, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

Good grief!

It’s a real Charlie Brown story, the USPS. Wikipedia describes Charlie Brown as: “A lovable loser possessed with endless determination and hope, but who usually is dominated by his insecurities.”

And here we are again with a little hope. The package business is growing at double digits, retailers are competing on service, and the USPS wants to grab a share of the game. Go get ‘em, Chuck! Or so the story goes.

It could even be the right business decision to make, but I’m tasked with offering the perspective of the printer, and here it is.

Amazon is a $162 billion company that doesn’t make any money. Back in 2000, it was a $30 billion company that didn’t make money. And along the way, it didn’t make money.

Amazon has been able to fund its growth without profitability by making ongoing “somewhere in the distance, after we have the infrastructure in place, I’ll see you around the corner profit projections. Almost 20 years on, it’s an anaconda, tightening its grip on brick and mortar prey, year after year after year.

And Chuck, you’re feeding the beast. A beast that is slowly constricting all the retailers who invested in actual stores (and made actual money) all those years, using your letter services to send direct mail to consumers to drive traffic into those stores. You’re subsidizing the destruction of your decades old customers by aiding the company that’s attacking them.

And after years of threatening to curb Saturday delivery for all those longstanding letter customers, you’re offering SUNDAY delivery to Amazon. Now, 10 million Amazon Prime members will be able to order on Friday and receive their items on Sunday.

A third-generation printer, Dustin LeFebvre delivers his vision for Specialty Print Communications as EVP, Marketing through strategy, planning and new product development. With a rich background ranging from sales and marketing to operations, quality control and procurement, Dustin takes a wide-angle approach to SPC

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  • Brian Rothschild

    Oi Vai!

  • Warren Seidel

    One potential way for retailers to fight back is to make their stores that much more attractive for consumers! Go Wide and Large Format printing! Change the look of each department monthly with removable wall material.

  • Pete

    Has anyone seen the agreement between these two companies? Where there minimum quantities, guaranteed annual volumes?
    Anyone familiar with the cost structures of USPS knows the delivery fees charged Amazon could not cover costs. Thay are going to send a blue and white driven by a highly paid union worker on Sunday (did somebody say overtime), not on the regular carrier route and cover their costs…not a chance. So, they are effectively underwriting Amazon.

  • TJL

    You forget that Linus (Congress) has tied Chuck’s hands and Chuck is simply trying to make money in other ways to remain viable.

  • itsoktoprint


    I’m not sure that this isn’t a natural metamorphosis that’s occurring. The trouble is they are trying to compete in a space for which they aren’t really competent. The package business was always the ride-along part of the letters, not the other way around. Their structure is all wrong to compete against UPS and Fed-Ex. They are built to filter small letters, not do efficient sortation of packages.

    Quietly UPS is building sortation capacity, though they have a long way to go. But at some point UPS is pounding the same pavement as USPS. All they need is that little private box opened to them and I think you have a battle on your hands. Check out UPS Mail Innovations and I think you see where they are thinking, long-term.

    And my money would be on UPS.