The U.S. Postal Service announced the concept of the Village Post Office in July 2011 as a way to continue providing convenient access to postal products and services in more rural communities across the nation.
The first Village Post Office (VPO) opened in Malone, WA, in August 2011. On Dec. 19, 2012, the100th VPO, located in Linden, IN, began operations.
- VPOs are located within existing communities in a variety of locations, including convenience stores, local businesses and libraries, and are operated by the management of those locations.
- VPOs offer a range of popular products and services — the ones most used by customers — including PO Boxes, Forever stamps, Pre-paid Priority Mail Flat Rate envelopes and a mail collection box.
- By being located inside established businesses and other places consumers already frequent, VPOs offer Postal Service customers time-saving convenience, and in most cases, longer hours than regular Post Offices.
- VPOs provide operators — in most cases, the local business owners — with opportunities for increased customer foot traffic and revenue, as well as providing additional services for their customers and clients.
- The Postal Service will consider establishing a Village Post Office in locations where there is no Post Office or that has one with reduced operating hours, and where an alternate access site will benefit the community and the Postal Service.
- The Village Post Office is an example of how the Postal Service is changing to better meet America’s mailing needs.
Village Post Offices are part of the Postal Service’s “Approved Postal Provider” network — retail outlets for postal products and services that include Contract Postal Units, Approved Shippers, stamps on consignment locations and Community Post Offices.
Approved Postal Providers are operated by third parties and complement the Postal Service’s own network by offering customers expanded retail access to postal products and services at convenient hours and locations.