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USPS to Halt Saturday Mail Delivery; GCA Opposes Decision

WASHINGTON, DC - In order to save $2 billion in annual costs, the United States Postal Service (USPS) recently announced that it will cease Saturday mail deliveries as of August 6 of this year. "This was too big of a cost savings to ignore," Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said. "In fact, I argue that it would have been irresponsible for the Postal Service not to act on it."

The move, however will not affect package deliveries, which is viewed as a growth business area. Post Offices will also remain open on Saturdays and delivery of mail to Post Office boxes will not be affected.
Disappointed by this action, The Greeting Card Association (GCA) issued a statement from its Postal Affairs Committee late yesterday of its opposition to the USPS' decision:

"The Greeting Card Association is disappointed at today's announcement by the Postmaster General that the Postal Service intends to bypass Congress and eliminate Saturday mail service.
• Members of the greeting card industry regret that Congress has not passed meaningful reform legislation in a timely manner that would make today's announcement unnecessary.
• We agree that the USPS must make fundamental changes to its financial structure to ensure its long-term financial viability.
• There are better options that address the USPS financial crisis other than eliminating Saturday service, which is short-sighted and self-defeating. "

The GCA's Postal Affairs Committee, headed by Up with Paper's George White, has had a long and cordial relationship working with the USPS for the benefit of not only greeting card publishers but for all USPS customers. And with the decline of First Class mail usage due to email and online bill-paying, it notes that greeting cards represent a significant portion of today's First Class mail for which the elimination of Saturday delivery will have an impact. In addition to the statement above, the GCA posted a more detailed position statement outlining other possible solutions to the USPS' revenue problems.

For business customers who send direct mail pieces that will be affected by the change in mail delivery services, the Postal Service intends to issue detailed plans in March to help those customers prepare, according the Direct Marketing News. These will include webinars, as well as printed materials.

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