Postal Commission Approves Catalog 'Summer Sale'
The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) on June 4 formally approved the USPS's proposal for a "summer sale" on Standard Mail postage, which largely affects catalog mailings.
“The Summer Sale provides an opportunity for marketers and the USPS to create an independent and much needed stimulus to their businesses and the nation’s economy,” said DMA President & CEO John Greco in a statement.
In the statement, the DMA explained that the potential benefits from the program will accrue to the entire supply chain from creative entities to paper suppliers, printers and private sector common carriers.
The Postal Service estimates that they will realize between $38 million and $95 million in additional net revenue from the expected increase in mail volume.
Direct mail and catalog remain significant contributors to the US economy, accounting for over $56 billion of advertising spending last year and sales of more than $702 billion — including nearly $155 billion in catalog sales. The Summer Sale program will buttress this important segment of the economy.
By endorsing the Summer Sale, the PRC is allowing the USPS to take advantage of the pricing flexibility that DMA worked so hard for in the passage of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. DMA has long advocated seasonal pricing. At the Postal Regulatory Commission/Postal Service Summit in 2007, then DMA Chairman Markus Wilhelm urged the Postal Service to offer seasonal rates and even daily rates to grow mail volume during slower times. DMA endorsed cooperation between the USPS and mailers then, and will continue to do so in the future.
The basic outline of the sale is that any mailer with over 1 million pieces of annual volume is entitled to a 30 percent rebate on the incremental increase in volume mailed between July 1 and September 30, 2009, over previous years. These numbers are subject to a series of calculations that adjust for current mailing trends and any shift in October 2009 volume. For more details on the opportunity, go to www.the-dma.org/postal/. For the complete PRC ruling, go to www.prc.gov/Docs/63/63340/Order219.pdf.