Sunday, September 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

NW Philly, LBI, Main Line post offices on shutdown list (Update)

US Postal Service looks at shutting, merging or privatizing post offices in parts of Northwest and West Philly, and on Long Beach Island.

NW Philly, LBI, Main Line post offices on shutdown list (Update)

The US Postal Service is weighing the closing of 3,700 US post offices, including 14 in Philadelphia: 30th St. (at the Amtrak station, in the 19104 Zip code), B. Free Franklin at Franklin Court museum in 19106, Castle Finance in 19148 in South Philly, East Falls 19129, East Germantown 19138, Fairmount Finance 19130, Kingsessing 19143, Manayunk 19127, Overbrook 19151, Roxborough 19128, Schuylkill 19146, Spring Garden 19122, West Market 19139, West Park 19131.

UPDATE: Also targeted for review and possible closing are post offices at St. David's on the Main Line (in the 19087 area), and the two neighbor-villages of Salford 18957 and Woxall 18979, in Montgomery County west of Harleysville. (A previous edition of this item didn't list these suburban locations.)

EARLIER: Also on the list: the wealthy Shore town of Harvey Cedars, and Long Beach, at the Jersey Shore. And Dividing Creek down past Vineland. See the PA list here and the NJ list here or check any state listed here.

The fact many of the offices "are clustered together is a coincidence," USPS spokeswoman Cathy Yarosky told me. There's no plans to merge, for example, the Northwest Philly branches on the list into a single Man-Rox-Falls.

USPS isn't done deciding, but "it is conceivable that... a significant percentage could be closed," Yarosky added. Why these offices? For example, because they "do not have the value of a minimum workload per day for the last 12 months," or they've been previously targeted for closure but haven't yet gotten "to the community meeting stage," or they're in places where postal users "have available alternate access," or, in short, the offices "suffer from insufficient customer demand.

Read the Postal Service Statement here. Excerpt: Postal Service says today it is "right-sizing 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 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 Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe in the statement. “Our customers' habits have made it clear that they no longer require a physical post office to conduct most of their postal business.”

"For communities currently without a postal retail office and for communities affected by these retail optimization efforts, the Postal Service introduced the Village Post Office as a potential replacement option. 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." Yakovsky says prices would be the same as at government-run post offices.

Joseph N. DiStefano
About this blog

PhillyDeals posts raw drafts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area finance, investment, commercial real estate, tech, hiring and public spending, which he's been writing since 1989, mostly for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn, taught writing at St. Joe's, and has written the book Comcasted, more than a thousand columns, and thousands of articles, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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