The USPS is losing money at the astounding rate of about $23.3 million a day. A Day!
And this humungous loss comes after it encouraged
employees to take early retirement...retired the once-ubiquitous blue
curb-side mail boxes...closed about 7% of the post office locations
around the country just two years ago...merged under-utilized
facilities...hiked postage rates repeatedly...and begged (so far
unsuccessfully) for 5-day-a-week delivery.
Undertaking a task that even Tony Soprano would find gargantuan, the
USPS is on the prowl for targets of opportunity to whack. And they are
everywhere. Or so it seems.
Not only are there about 32,000 retail post offices in the US, but there
are more than 70,000 "Approved Postal Providers" selling stamps and
services. That's more than 100,000 postal facilities nationwide, or one
for every 3100 Americans.
The USPS reports that more than 35% of the USPS retail revenue comes
from expanded access locations-those "Approved Postal Providers"-such as
grocery and drug stores, office supply and retail chains, self-serve
kiosks, ATMs and-of course-the USPS's own website, usps.com.
Think about it. When you can buy your steaks and your stamps at the
Safeway, the post office across the parking lot is rendered obsolete.
And that is where the USPS sits today: with a lot of obsolete but still
neighborhood-centric facilities. These "unprofitable" facilities are
the first obvious volunteers for elimination. The post office is
looking for 3700 worthy candidates to deep six in the first wave of
A USPS spokesperson explained "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. The Village Post
Office will offer another way for us to meet our customers' needs."
I guess that's progress. Of a sort.
I'm still troubled by the idea of getting my antifreeze oil and
prescriptions at the same store I get my antipasto and pretzels. I'll
get used to the idea, I suppose. Eventually.
The world is changing. It isn't coming to an end. Don't panic.
Keep reading this blog every week to see what the latest and greatest news is about the USPS.