The move is part of a long-announced cost saving measure and will affect just 500 of the company’s 14,000 locations in Germany, according to a Deutsche Post spokesman. Most of the post offices facing closure have just one or two windows for customers, daily Hamburger Abendblatt reported on Saturday .
The closures will be complete by the end of 2011, by which time all of the post offices in Germany will be run only as partnerships with other businesses, such as most outlets in large cities, which are operated jointly with Postbank, which used to be owned by Deutsche Post.
In addition to offering traditional mailing services, those outlets often offer automated teller machines and finance services including loans and retirement products.
Public workers union Verdi criticised the news, saying it would lead to further job cuts.
“With this, the Post is finally separating itself from an entirely owned and operated outlet structure,” said Wolfgang Abel, the Verdi leader for postal issues in northern Germany, who described the Post’s decision as putting the company on a “crash course.”
But Deutsche Post’s decision is unlikely to affect most Germans. The company promised that every town or village with at least 2,000 residents would have a “manned” postal station. Within cities, the company promised that no customer would be more than two kilometres from a post office.