HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - If it fits, it ships, right? Maybe not.
The Postal Service is finding it a challenge to keep up with the changing times and has announced the possible closure of some 3,600 post offices around the country. Four of Hawaii's 104 post offices are under review - as customers look for simpler, more convenient ways to communicate.
A team of postal service supervisors has been assessing offices for possible closure, including the downtown location on Nuuanu avenue. If they shutter, the supervisors are considering other ways to accommodate customers. Bernadine Chee says this location is most convenient for her. "The only other option I know of is to go to the main, downtown post office, but that one, the parking's often filled up, and there's a lot of congestion."
Aside from Nuuanu avenue, the offices under closure consideration include Kalaupapa on Molokai, one of Kuhio highway in Lihue, and one at the Kapolei Station on Oahu. A total of seven postal workers could be impacted, and the USPS says it would make every effort to find them other positions.
While postal service officials declined to go on camera about this, they told Hawaii News Now that some of the criteria for closures include customer use, revenue, and proximity to other post offices. They say most of the locations being studied have so little foot traffic that employees average less than two hours of work per day, and daily sales at those locations are less than 50 dollars.
Still, some customers, like Royce Nakagawa, use the Kapolei post office twice a week. "It's really convenient. I mean, where will everybody be going to if that happens, right?"
Makakilo resident Suzette Julian adds, "I'm down in Kapolei almost daily. I'm just right up the hill, so it would be an inconvenience for me."
Coming under review doesn't necessarily mean the offices will close. In fact, the Kapolei office has been on the list before but has remained open. If they are shuttered, no post office would close before January. Customers have 60 days to file a comment with the Postal Service about a possible closure.
The federal agency says the potential closures are simply a sign of the times - as customers turn to the internet for correspondence and use postal contractors in convenience stores and supermarkets. Last year, the postal service lost eight billion dollars.