Mildred Orton, co-founder of mail order business Vermont Country Store, died May 6 at her home in Weston, VT. She was 99.
A coalition of postal, mailing and marketing groups launched a Web forum on December 1 to bolster discussion about the state of the US Postal Service and how the federal agency can maintain its relevance. The goals of PostalJournal.com are to explore the evolution of the USPS as part of the nation's economic and communications infrastructure and to create an exchange of ideas about the industry.
Less than a week after the US Postal Service disclosed that it incurred a $3.8 billion net loss for fiscal year 2009, it narrowed the list of branches it is considering closing by 130. The agency is still reviewing the possible closure of 241 post offices as of November 20.
Just in time for holiday party season a new company called Rent the Runway is bringing a Netflix style mail order membership model to couture dresses.
Later this month, the US Postal Service will unveil additional capabilities for its Intelligent Mail service, which allows the agency to track pieces of mail from origin to destination.
The US Postal Service told businesses on October 15 that it will not raise rates for 2010 on its "market-dominant products," a category that includes first-class and standard mail, periodicals and single-piece parcel post. The agency has predicted that the fiscal year 2009 mail volume could be as much as 20 billion pieces lighter than the year before.
The US Postal Service is cutting in other ways than just consolidating branches. About 5,000 full-time agency employees who are eligible for retirement accepted a buyout package this week, and 18,000 more have taken an offer but have until the end of this month to formally accept or change their minds, according to a report in The Washington Post.
In this week's edition of DMNews, direct mail experts said that post office branch closings won't have much of an impact on the direct marketing industry. However, processing and distribution centers could be another story altogether. The US Postal Service has announced the closing or downsizing of 15 of those offices and is considering the fate of others.
Direct Brands, a direct marketer of books, DVDs and recorded music, has named Deborah Fine president and CEO. Direct Brands and sister company Bookspan, owned by Najafi Companies, include the Book-of-the-Month Club, Columbia House, Doubleday Book Club and The Literary Guild. Previously, Fine was president of NBC Universal's iVillage Properties, a group of online communities including iVillage.com and YourTotalHealth.com with 27 million members.
The New York Times Company announced on August 17 it has launched The New York Times Wine Club, a mail order club that has the potential to provide the embattled publisher with another source of revenue. The newspaper partnered with Global Wine Company, an outsourcer that operates wine mail order clubs for consumer brands such as Omaha Steaks, to handle the business on a turn-key basis.
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