Postal Service Cutbacks Cause Retailers and Others to Prepare for the Worse

ShippingSnail mail is about to trudge even slower, forcing companies dependent
on the postal service, such as prescription-medication firm Express Scripts and thousands of small businesses, to revamp fundamental business models.

The U.S. Postal Service‘s
plan to save $2.1 billion a year and fend off possible bankruptcy
threatens to end almost all overnight delivery of first-class letters
and postcards next year.

“Everyone from
Netflix to timely magazines to the greeting card industry to political
campaigns who still rely massively on traditional mail deliveries will
be negatively impacted,” says Adam Hanft, a consumer-marketing
specialist who heads Hanft Projects.

Online
retailers — not to mention small and midsize businesses — that are
dependent on timely shipping could feel the pinch. Nearly one-fourth of
local merchants use direct mail as a crucial marketing strategy,
according to MerchantCircle, the largest social network of local
business owners in the U.S.

Spreadshirt.com
estimates 92% of the specialized T-shirts and apparel it sells are
shipped, via a third-party, through the Postal Service. It ships about
150,000 packages a month, which typically take two to three days for
delivery.

The threat of discontinued Saturday
mail service, which would require congressional approval, could add
two days. “That is unacceptable,” says Mark Venezia, vice president of
global sales and marketing for Spreadshirt. The company may start
shipping some products by UPS, he says.

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Source: Jon Swartz, USA TODAY