July bookstore sales rose 4.9% over July 2017, according to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Department. Sales this July were $660 million, up from $629 million a year ago. The July increase continues a solid rally for sales through brick-and-mortar stores after sales got off to a weak start in January. With several months of mid-single digit increases, bookstore sales for the first seven months of 2018 were $5.36 billion, down 0.5% from the comparable period a year ago. For the entire retail segment, July sales were up 6.7% over July 2017 and sales for the seven-month period rose 5.5%.
Always an area for speculation and consternation, the USPS is keeping us guessing on what will be included in their 10-year plan to Congress on long-time survivability. In the meantime, businesses should be prepared for some potential short-terms changes, including the possibility of the United States pulling out of the Universal Posting Union.
Helping us all understand what we are facing at the moment, Chris Lee and Anita Pursely shared their insights in this Industry Corner Podcast.
Pursley, senior manager at BBC Software and a recognized postal rates expert, attended the Postal Operation Technology Committee meeting in Minneapolis this spring, and relates what she learned from Steve Phelps, USPS’ acting VP of pricing and costing. She came away with a handful of insights:
1. Marketing mail flats are going up by around 4%
2. Weight break on marketing mail flats under evaluation
Will the US leave the Universal Postal Union?
more details at source: http://freeportpress.com/big-changes-could-be-looming-for-postal-customers/