Chapter II      Postal Operations go to the 2001 Comprehensive Statement on Postal Operations front page go to the table of contents go to the previous page go to the next page
K. Retail Programs: Building the Core

Each day, over seven million Americans visit our post offices and contract postal units. The vast majority of these customers perform the very basic functions of buying stamps, mailing packages, and collecting mail from their post office boxes. Many more obtain stamps or other postal products by mail, online, through our vending equipment, and through supermarkets and other authorized agents. The primary role of the Retail function is to make it easy for them to do business with us, while making the transactions increasingly productive and profitable for the Postal Service.

    1. Marketing Calendar
Although the Postal Service has a straightforward product line, many of our customers are not familiar with some of our basic services, or how to best use them. Addressing this need for basic product information is central to retail marketing activities. A principal tool in this effort is the Retail Marketing Calendar, a tightly managed 18-month schedule of planned promotions, activities, and events that help to guide our customers and employees through major mailing seasons. The calendar also helps to support ongoing promotions for products such as Express and Priority Mail by presenting basic information at a time customers are most likely to buy and use the services.

Although the Postal Service has achieved success with its product information programs, until recently, our efforts have been focused largely on consumers. In the past, small business customers — who represent the lion’s share of retail revenues — have largely been ignored. In 2000, we began several efforts to use our established relationships within the small business community to assist small businesses with their mailing needs and generate new revenue. These include building a response infrastructure that ensures customer follow-up and an on-going relationship with the customer. We also expect to grow volume and market share within this segment through the use of solution-based promotions that target the small business customer.

Roughly 89 percent of all retail revenue and 96 percent of all retail operating expense accrue from the Postal Service's classified post office and contract unit full-service options. They are augmented by Stamps By Mail, over 30,000 revenue- generating vending machines, and stamp sales at thousands of commercial retail outlets and ATMs.

Greetings from Illinois

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