Ross-Simons' Davis on Why Slim Jims Are in Jeopardy
I wanted to take this opportunity to alert fellow catalog/multichannel merchants to our company's response to the Federal Register Notice by the USPS for letter-size booklets and folded self-mailers [#39 CFR Part 111]. This rule change effectively will eliminate slim jims from the mailstream!
In a nutshell, the proposed rule will cripple our industry and eliminate millions of pieces of mail. The rule's intentions are noble, but its effects are disastrous. And the last thing we need to do now is eliminate more mail volume.
There's a very simple solution that'll benefit all catalogers with an 8 cent (or 33 percent) per piece reduction in marginal postage rates: We propose a reduction in the enhanced carrier route (ECR) minimum for flats from 10 pieces to six pieces. This rule change would allow catalogers to redirect millions of catalogs out of the letter class and back into flats. The Postal Service would enjoy greater revenues on a per-piece basis. In addition, catalogers would increase mail volume.
It's time to get involved. Send an e-mail today to the manager of mailing standards stating the following: "#39 CFR Part 111 is a bad idea. It will reduce mail volumes, cause our mail not to be opened and reduce the selling space available in slim jims. The requirements for tabs present a real problem — customers can't open them."
In its place, suggest that the Postal Service make a simple rule change, which would provide the catalog industry the same mail saturation benefits the magazine industry currently enjoys. If we can change the flat mail saturation threshold to qualify for ECR rates from 10 pieces to six pieces, the catalog industry should save 33 percent on marginal mail pieces. And it will actually increase its mailings of catalogs.
Submit your comments today via e-mail to MailingStandards@usps.gov. Please indicate “Letter-Size Booklets and Folded Self-Mailers” in the subject line.
Larry Davis is vice president of marketing at the catalog/multichannel jewelry retailer Ross-Simons. Reach him at (401) 463-3100 or email@example.com.