Catalog mailings increase, provide USPS revenue boost

Authored By Chloé Morrison

An increasing number of young professionals may use catalogs for Christmas shopping, and-aside from helping retail sales-catalog mailings also provide a boost to the United States Postal Service, which has been struggling with budget woes in recent years.

“Mail order catalogs bring in much-needed revenue for the Postal Service,” USPS spokesman David Walton said via email.

CNBC reported that, according to the Direct Marketing Association, companies spent 10.4 billion on direct mail catalogs in 2011.

That’s an increase of $9.9 billion in 2010.

And more and more young adults who earn more than $50,000 a year said they will use catalogs for their holiday shopping this year, according to CNBC and the National Retail Federation.

The USPS ended the fiscal year with a record net loss of $15.9 billion.

Leaders with the United States Postal Service said recently that they urgently need legislative action so that they can implement reform and return to financial stability.

This year’s $15.9 billion loss included $11.1 billion connected to two payments to prefund retiree health benefits, officials said.

The USPS is required by law to prefund those benefits, but it had to default on those payments.

Senate members passed a postal bill in April that would help the situation, in part by reducing annual health payments and refunding $11 billion that the USPS made to the federal pension fund, according to The Christian Science Monitor.

But House leaders haven’t moved their version through yet, according to Nooga.com archives.

“It’s critical for Congress to pass comprehensive postal reform legislation before they adjourn this year, so the Postal Service can return to long-term financial stability,” Walton said Tuesday.

The holiday season brings increased business for the USPS, and Dec. 10 and 17 are the busiest days, officials said.

“The holiday catalog rush usually begins as early as September and October,” Walton said.