USPS Rate Increase: Retailers May Choose Mini Catalogs

USPSUnder a proposal by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), first-class postage stamps could rise to 49 cents, or by 6.5 percent, and pricing for other mail, including postcards and packages, would also rise on Jan. 26, 2014. The increase would raise about $2 billion in additional revenue a year, and will require approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said in a statement: “The rate increase poses a direct threat to the 8 million private-sector jobs that are part of the mailing industry as businesses shift from paper-based to electronic communication and mailers are priced out of business.” Among multi-channel retailers that rely on mailing everything from full catalogs to postcards to prospect for and draw customers to stores or ecommerce sites, the proposed rate hike could drive many to evaluate less expensive alternatives. 

In an open letter on its website, the American Catalog Mailers Association (ACMA) warned that prices for Standard Flats used to send full sized catalogs could go up as much as 10 to 12 percent. As a result, multi-channel retailers may choose to reduce catalog circulation and send frequency, or turn to less expensive forms of mailing, such as mini catalogs. These books have fewer pages than full-size books, yet allow companies to cut production costs without sacrificing circulation or frequency. Mini catalogs mail at the cost of a standard automated letter and provide up to ten pages to promote products. They can cut mailing and production costs by a third, helping to offset the increase in mailing costs, reports B&W Press, a Georgetown, MA-based printer. 

For more information about Mini “Slim” Catalogs, contact B&W Press.