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USPS Eyes 3,700 Closures, Seeks Retail Partners

July 29, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC—The United States Postal Service (USPS) is ratcheting up its campaign to stay above water, not to mention relevant in the eyes of a disinterested consumer crowd and a concerned business community. Mr. ZIP has decided to slim down even further, with 3,700 retail offices coming under scrutiny for possible closure. It represents more than 10 percent of USPS' 32,000 retail offices.

“Today, more than 35 percent of the Postal Service’s retail revenue comes from expanded access locations such as grocery stores, drug stores, office supply stores, retail chains, self-service kiosks, ATMs and, open 24/7,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. “Our customers' habits have made it clear that they no longer require a physical post office to conduct most of their postal business.”

But the Postal Service is offering a solution to allay the concerns that closures would have an onerous impact on the more rural communities. Village Post Offices would be operated by local businesses, such as pharmacies, grocery stores and other appropriate retailers, and would offer popular postal products and services such as stamps and flat-rate packaging.

“By working with third-party retailers, we’re creating easier, more convenient access to our products and services when and where our customers want them,” Donahoe said. “The Village Post Office will offer another way for us to meet our customers’ needs.”

Counting the 32,000 postal retail offices and more than 70,000 USPS-approved third-party retailers, USPS customers have about 100,000 locations across the nation. Still, Donahoe notes that the USPS of the future will be "smaller, leaner and more competitive, and it will continue to drive commerce, serve communities and deliver value."

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