JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi has become the latest test site for the United States Postal Service's new business model in an attempt to help shave costs and stop the federal agency from hemorrhaging funds.
The Postal Service introduced the village post office model in 2011 as an alternate retail location for postal products and services, especially in rural communities. Local businesses contract with the Postal Service to offer stamps, flat-rate packaging and other services.
Mississippi's first one is in Knox Grocery in the Prairie community of Monroe County in north Mississippi. It opened Wednesday.
"'I think it's going to be kind of two-fold. It's going to bring in more people through the door, and it's going to provide a service to the community," grocery owner Barry Smitherman told The Clarion-Ledger (http://on.thec-l.com/Rcm3Tp ).
Smitherman said his employees will handle the sale of items such as stamps and flat-rate shipping boxes. He said there are plans to have post office boxes set up outside the store where customers can rent space.
Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, http://www.clarionledger.com