Maui Business

US Post Office Closure Study Includes Kalaupapa

July 26, 2011, 3:28 PM HST
* Updated October 21, 9:14 AM
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Many Automated Postal Centers (APC) are available for use 24/7. Photo courtesy of USPS.

By Sonia Isotov

Today, the US Postal Service released a list of offices that will be studied for closure and for the introduction of a “retail-replacement” option directed at affected communities. In Hawaii, there are four post offices being examined, and one is Kalaupapa on Molokai.

The other three post offices included in the study in Hawaii are the Uptown Post Office in Honolulu, the Hanamaulu Post Office in Lihue, and the Kapolei Station on Oahu.

As more customers choose to conduct their postal business online, on their smart phones and at their favorite shopping destinations, the need for the US Postal Service to maintain its nearly 32,000 retail offices — the largest retail network in the country — diminishes.

“Today, more than 35% 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 a written statement today. “Our customer’s habits have made it clear that they no longer require a physical post office to conduct most of their postal business.”

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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.

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“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,” Donahoe said. “The Village Post Office will offer another way for us to meet our customers’ needs.”

“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,” Donahoe added.

The announcement also reminded the public that the US Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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