A plan to close about 3,000 post offices in the United States reflects emerging efficiencies in retail in general. It is not just that the number of mail pieces is declining, with most personal messages now online. More of the business of mail is being done online too, and when customers do visit the post office, improvements in technology are making the counter transactions go faster.
Post offices are not going away, but some of them have become too small to function effectively as standalone operations. It is the same way that record stores shrank until most of them closed. The USPS suggests that the village post office of the near future will be inside another business, such as a grocery store or drugstore. At the same location you may find a video rental kiosk and a selection of greeting cards — two other business categories that became too small to stand on their own.