Location, location, location – it's the mantra of realtors, of course, but is just as important to retailers and service providers, like the U.S. Postal Service. USPS understands the importance of being where people live and shop. It also knows that keeping hours conducive to people's shopping habits increases customer traffic. Cue contract postal units (CPUs), which the Postal Service uses to supplement its 32,000 post offices around the country.
This is the time of year when retailers, nonprofit organizations, and other mailers step up their holiday advertising mailing campaigns. Volume spikes in this period, known as the fall mailing season, which then gives way to the even-busier holiday mailing season, when personal correspondence and packages spike. The U.S. Postal Service makes most of its money for the year in the period between Labor Day and Christmas.
As online shopping has become the norm for many Americans, it has brought operational changes to both brick-and-mortar retailers and online retailers. Shipping costs are now a major consideration for companies. Retailers are working to control their shipping costs as their ebusiness grows, with the traditional retailers relying on their extensive network of stores to reduce shipping costs. Instead of shipping goods from centralized warehouses to far-flung customers, major retailers, such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Gap Inc., deliver from stores close to their customers whenever possible.