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Amazon has convinced the United States Postal Service (USPS) to break with tradition and deliver parcels on Sundays.

The web bazaar said the deal will allow customers to receive packages on Sunday if the orders are placed using the Amazon Prime service. The company said it will first try delivering stuff in Los Angeles and New York before rolling it out to other major metropolitan areas in 2014 – potentially including Dallas, Houston, Phoenix and New Orleans.

Amazon promised the service will cover a "large portion" of the US population by the end of the year. In addition to membership in the Prime premium service, Amazon customers will have to purchase items approved for Sunday delivery to activate the option.

The move marks a departure for the US government's postal arm. Once an indispensable part of American life, the postal service has waned with the rise of the web. But it continues to operate as a self-supporting entity as it competes with the likes of UPS and FedEx.

"As online shopping continues to increase, the Postal Service is very happy to offer shippers like Amazon the option of having packages delivered on Sunday,” said Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General and chief executive officer. “With this new service, the Postal Service is now delivering packages seven days a week in select cities.

The online shopping world is growing more and more competitive in terms of shipping options: vendors offer customers perks from free shipping to same-day delivery in order to gain an edge over competitors. Google launched a same-day option as a salvo across Amazon's bow when earlier this year the advertising giant stepped up a push for its own shopping service.

Though the retail service remains a strong earner for Amazon, the company is continually looking to diversify and expand its business from the retail base. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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