Direct-to-customer merchants who mail catalogs told Multichannel Merchant they are fine with the United States Postal Service's 5-day delivery plan, which is scheduled to go into effect the week of Aug. 5.
Under the plan announced on February 6 by the USPS, catalogs and other forms of mail will no longer be delivered on Saturdays. Packages, however, will still be delivered on Saturdays.
USPS said in a statement that once the plan is fully implemented, it will generate a cost savings of about $2 billion annually.
Catalog mailers and others in direct-to-customer said they think the savings will be passed on to them in the form of fewer future rate increases.
"If going to 5-day (non-package) delivery is essential to aligning USPS costs with its declining revenues, then it is essential for the sustainability of the mailing industry and our economy," said Terri Alpert, founder and CEO of Stony Creek Brands, which mails the Uno Alla Volta artisan gift catalog and The Artisan Table, formerly known as The Cooking Enthusiast and Professional Cutlery Direct.
Lynn Gore, vice president of marketing at Plow & Hearth, added that its in-home dates are on Mondays, and even now when it gets some early deliveries, it only represents about 3% of the total mail stream.
"We may see some demand shift, but I don’t think it will be a negative impact overall," Gore said.
Lois Brayfield, president and chief creative officer at consultancy J. Schmid & Assoc., said that her catalog-mailing customers are not panicking about the USPS's decision to cut mail delivery to five days.
But she added that it is something to keep an eye on because Monday tends to be the strongest delivery day for catalogs. So in theory, it could mean the catalog delivered on a Monday could become part of a cluttered mailbox.