The world of home grocery delivery is getting some help from the post office. Or perhaps more accurately, the post office is getting some help from the world of home grocery delivery.
You, like almost everyone else you know, probably can’t remember the last time you actually mailed a letter, and the last time you got one was probably when your grandmother sent you $20 for your birthday. This trend has forced the post office to look for new and creative ways to stay in business. One recent idea has been a partnership with Amazon. As part of a 60-day trial, the USPS and AmazonFresh have been testing an early-morning grocery delivery service in San Francisco. Apparently, things are running smoothly, because the Postal Service has requested approval to expand the service to other test cities.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the larger, two-year trial could start in a group of undisclosed metropolitan areas as soon as Oct. 24. The USPS is also considering bringing in additional retailers and attempting delivery at times other than the morning. As one Postal Service spokeswoman put it, “This exemplifies the Postal Service's core function of delivery.”
The plan is still awaiting approval. And even then, it’s certainly not a slam dunk. Delivering groceries isn’t a new concept, and the post office will have plenty of competition from places like FreshDirect and Peapod.
Plus, you have to wonder how much revenue grocery delivery can really bring in. Last quarter, the USPS reported a loss of $1.96 billion. It would take a lot of milk and toilet paper to fill that hole.