Post Office Considers Closing Retail Outlets

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The Postal Service is considering a move to close more than 3,600 of its offices in an effort to save money.

If approved, the agency would close a little more than 10 percent of its 31,000 retail offices that it still operate across the country.

The locations selected to close are those that do the least business, mostly in small towns.

Postal officials say they're looking into alternate services for those places, like putting post offices in local businesses or town halls.

Once an office is selected for a review, people served by that office will have 60 days to file their comments. If an office is to be closed, they will be able to appeal to the independent Postal Regulatory Commission.

In addition, the agency has sharply reduced its staff over the past several years and cut billions of dollars.

It also has asked Congress to allow it to cut delivery to five days a week and to ease the requirement for an annual $5.5 billion payment to fund future retiree health benefits.

The Postal Service lost nearly $8 billion last year because of the Internet's impact and the recession, which resulted in the decline of advertising mail by many companies.

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