Brylane Bullish on UPS Basic

Watch out, U.S. Postal Service: Multititle apparel and home goods mailer Brylane says it is shifting a substantial portion of its package delivery business to Basic, United Parcel Service’s new ground delivery service that began the week of Nov. 10.

New York-based Brylane, which mails 10 catalogs, including apparel titles Chadwick’s of Boston, Lane Bryant, and Roaman’s, is moving “more than a little bit of our shipments” to the new service, says president/CEO Russell Stravitz. “This is not a test. This is a substantial change. It’s a major commitment by Brylane.” The cataloger, which had used the U.S. Postal Service for most of its package shipments, was drawn to Basic because “it’s an attractive service at an attractive price,” Stravitz says, although he would not without reveal the price.

UPS would not disclose pricing for Basic either. Rather than publish a rate chart, the carrier is setting Basic rates on a case-by-case basis with individual shippers. UPS spokesperson Susan Rosenberg will only say that Basic’s rates are “competitive,” while acknowledging that Ground’s rates are not. She adds that whereas UPS guarantees Ground delivery time of two to six days depending on the distance the package travels, Basic will take two to three days longer.

UPS’s primary goal with Basic is to “get lightweight package business [1-5 lbs.] to residential destinations for which we’ve not been able to be price competitive,” Rosenberg says. UPS, which has been developing the necessary systems for Basic for more than a year and discussing its feasibility with catalogers and others since the spring, will tweak the Basic system based upon feedback from customers once enough deliveries are made.