The US Postal Service has identified a list of 3,243 post offices and retail locations for possible closure. That's nearly 10% of those type of locations, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Expecting to make decisions by October 1, 2009, the USPS said the possible cutbacks follow a Quarter 2 YTD loss of $707 million. Mail volume continues to decline as more people pay bills online and email supplants traditional mail delivery.

What does this mean for the postal franchise industry?

Less competition. If all 3,243 locations are indeed closed within a relatively short period of time, that's 3,243 fewer places for consumers to get their postal needs met. And after all, one of the postal franchise business’ tenets is convenience….you don't have to travel as far to a US Post Office by visiting a postal franchise instead. In return, a modest convenience fee was added.

Especially at today's prices for gas, the hard cost of gasoline for a trip to and from the post office often can be more than the typical $1.50 convenience charge on a book of stamps. Not to mention the time savings from avoiding a longer drive. And a postal franchise like PostalAnnex+ usually offers more services such as copying, faxing, notarizing, packaging and other home and office services---making the convenience all the more valuable.

And with the USPS considering the elimination of normal mail pickup and delivery on Saturdays, a postal franchise such as PostalAnnex+ that is open on Saturdays provides a valuable alternative for its customers.

What will happen to all the post office box holders in facilities that close? Many are landlords, small business owners, real estate agents and other professionals that don't want people showing up at their house. Fortunately, they'll be able to continue their privacy and receive even more benefits with a private mailbox rental at PostalAnnex+ and other postal franchise locations.

So while 3,243 possible closures sounds bad for consumers, it could end up being a very good opportunity for the postal franchise industry.

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Steve & Vicki Collo, Franchisees since 1993, made their PostalAnnex+ business a family business.

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