JULY 2011





Photo: Village Post Office illustration.

As more customers choose to conduct their postal business online, at their favorite shopping destinations, and with their smartphones, the need for USPS to maintain the largest retail network in the country diminishes.

To that end, the Postal Service announced it is taking the next step in rightsizing its expansive retail network by conducting studies of approximately 3,700 retail offices to determine customer needs. As part of this effort, the Postal Service also has introduced a retail-replacement option for affected communities around the nation.

“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 usps.com, open 24/7,” said PMG Pat Donahoe. “Our customers' habits have made it clear that they no longer require a physical Post Office to conduct most of their postal business.”

USPS has introduced the Village Post Office as a potential replacement option for communities currently without a postal retail office and those affected by retail optimization efforts. 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,” said Donahoe. “The Village Post Office will offer another way for us to meet our customers’ needs.”

With 32,000 postal retail offices and more than 70,000 third-party retailers — Approved Postal Providers — selling postage stamps and providing expanded access to other postal products and services, customers today have about 100,000 locations across the nation where they can do business with the Postal Service.

“The Postal Service of the future will be smaller, leaner and more competitive, and it will continue to drive commerce, serve communities and deliver value,” said Donahoe.

Click here for additional information on expanded access. To read the rules governing this initiative click here.



Photo: The usps.com website home page.
Click here to go to the new usps.com.

The new usps.com is now open for business. The redesigned website arrived with the first wave of enhancements, including easier-to-find topics and tools and a fresh approach to online information.

“We know our customers are busy people,” says Kelly Sigmon, vice president, Channel Access. “The new usps.com is one more example of USPS creating easy, more convenient customer access to postal products and services.”

One of the new features is Quick Tools, four applications in one easy-to-find area that allow users to quickly and easily perform the most commonly used customer specific tasks: “Track & Confirm,” “Find a Post Office,” “Calculate Postage,” and “Look Up a ZIP Code.”

Quick Tools gives users access to this information without interrupting their shipping or mailing processes. Quick Tools with rollover buttons appear on every page, providing customers with “take action” navigation regardless of where they are on the website.

At the top of every page, customers can select “Ship a Package,” “Send Mail,” “Shop,” or “Business Solutions.” Convenient drop-down menus offer links and information to help users quickly get to where they need to go. Under “Business Solutions,” businesses of all sizes can receive training and learn how to grow their business. All information relating to Postal Customer Councils can be found at usps.com.

Also with usps.com, a related website is now available. About.usps.com provides corporate information, such as USPS history, along with the latest news and information on the Postal Service. Users can access about.usps.com by clicking on a banner located on the bottom right side of usps.com and from a link in the footer found on each page — or by entering “about.usps.com” in the browser address bar.

Improvements and updates to both websites will be added the rest of this year and in fiscal year 2012.



Planning is in full swing for National PCC Day on Sept. 21, hosted by the Tampa PCC, winner of the 2010 PCC of the Year Award. The live broadcast will begin at noon EDT and will feature a keynote address by Patrick Donahoe, Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer. We’ll announce the 2011 Premier Award winners along with the winners of the eight Leadership Awards.

National PCC Day provides a venue to communicate the power of mail through educational programs and to celebrate the contributions and successes of PCCs across the nation. In addition, customers have the opportunity to learn about current and future postal initiatives directly from the Postmaster General, and to network with local Postal Service executives and industry leaders. Through the support of the PCCs over the years, National PCC Day is considered the premier industry event of the fall.


Photo: Army Specialist Brock Jacobs sorts mail in a military Post Office at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Army Specialist Brock Jacobs sorts mail in a military Post Office at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

America’s troops look forward to receiving letters and packages from home. That’s why it’s important to make sure mail gets there — to the right person, in the right place.

A common problem that can delay mail to troops serving overseas is adding the name of the destination country to the address.

Army/Air Force Post Office (APO), Fleet Post Office (FPO) or Diplomatic Post Office (DPO) mail is destined to an overseas military or diplomatic Post Office. When an address includes a country name, the letter or package may be sent to an international postal service instead of a military Post Office, which causes delays.

Retail associates are reminded to check APO/FPO/DPO mail pieces and make sure they don‘t list the country name. When customers present incorrectly addressed mail, retail associates should have the customer strike out the country name to make sure APO/FPO/DPO mail stays within the correct mail system.

Below are examples of correct and incorrect addressing:

SGT John Doe SGT John Doe
23rd Signal Battalion 23rd Signal Battalion
APO AE 09350 Unit 2340, Box 132 IRAQ


Photo of the American Express Gift Card.

Customers can now purchase “the most-requested holiday gift” at more than 1,800 Post Offices.

The new line of “open-loop” gift cards — redeemable at any merchant that accepts the card brand — is part of a two-year market test, and is being sold at Post Offices that also sell greeting cards.

“We’re always looking for new ways to improve the customer experience and generate new revenue,” said Kelly Sigmon, vice president, Channel Access. “Selling gift cards, greeting cards and stamps all at one location is a natural fit for our business model and a natural fit for our customers.”

According to Sigmon, the market test will expand to up to 3,000 additional locations — including Post Offices without greeting cards — in October 2011, just in time for the holiday.

“Gift cards are the single most-requested holiday gift, with 77 percent of consumers buying at least one gift card during the holiday season,” Sigmon said.

While the Postal Service can expand the market test to other vendors, American Express is the first company to participate in the program. American Express Gift Cards will be sold in denominations of $25 and $50 and in variable load denominations, with a minimum denomination of $25 and a maximum denomination of $100.

The Postal Service will operate only as a sales agent and will receive a negotiated portion of the purchase price: $3.95 for the $25 denomination, $4.95 for the $50 denomination and $5.95 for the variable load cards.


With the Postal Service now selling gift cards at some Post Offices, the Priority Mail Flat Rate Gift Card Envelope is a quick, easy and convenient way for customers to ship them. The envelopes are designed to get noticed — nothing says “open me first” better than the big bow printed on the outside. Each 7-by-10-inch envelope includes a convenient pouch for securing gift cards. The Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope is available for $4.95.


Make your plans to attend your local event for National PCC Day on Wednesday, September 21. A video “A Glimplse into Marketing and Sale” developed by Paul Vogel, President and Chief Marketing/Sales Officer, will discuss the many new products and services recently introduced or coming soon to the Postal Service.


Inside Scoop graphic: USPS has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 8 percent since 2008.


  • National PCC Day, September 21, 2011 Tampa, FL
  • National Postal Forum, April 1–4, 2012 Orlando, FL



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National PCC Network: usps.com/pcc
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The Climate Registry logo.

USPS was recently awarded Climate Registered Gold status by The Climate Registry (TCR) for its leadership in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than 5 percent. The Postal Service is among the first of TCR’s 430 members — and the first government agency — to achieve this recognition.

The Climate Registry is a nonprofit collaboration among North American states, provinces, territories and Native Sovereign Nations that sets consistent and transparent standards to calculate, verify and publicly report GHG emissions in a single registry.

“Winning Climate Registered Gold status will help motivate the Postal Service to do even more to reduce greenhouse gases,” said DPMG Ron Stroman. “It’s especially important for us to be a sustainable organization because we touch virtually every community in America. We have the largest civilian fleet in the country, and our Post Offices and processing plants are nationwide. So we intend to continue our already considerable efforts to further reduce our carbon footprint.”

Earlier this month, USPS reported an 8 percent reduction in GHG emissions from a fiscal year 2008 baseline, which places the agency more than one-third of the way to its goal of 20 percent by fiscal year 2020 . The reduction of 1,067,834 metric tons of CO2 is an amount equal to the annual emissions of approximately 204,000 passenger vehicles.

The Postal Service also helps customers reduce their own carbon footprints with tips and information at usps.com/green and the green newsroom.

USPS has won more than 75 environmental awards, including 40 White House Closing the Circle, 10 Environmental Protection Agency WasteWise Partner of the Year, Climate Action Champion, and Direct Marketing Association Green Echo awards. The Postal Service also has earned the Postal Technology International Environmental Achievement of the Year.

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