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List of possible U.S. post office closures released

By Wendell Marsh

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Postal Service on Tuesday listed almost 3,700 retail post offices considered for closure or downsizing, and said more than 200 each could be closed in Texas, Illinois, Missouri and Pennsylvania.

The post offices targeted for possible closure account for about 11 percent of the 32,000 full retail locations nationwide.

The Post Office has been battered by the weak economy and a move toward electronic mail and private sector competitors like FedEx and the United Parcel Service. In March it announced that 7,500 jobs would be cut and 2,000 post offices closed. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in May the service was in dire financial straits.

"The Postal Service of the future will be smaller, leaner and more competitive," Donahoe said in a statement.

The service is trying to diversify by selling postage stamps and providing access to products and services at third party retailers. Donahue said more than 35 percent of the Postal Service's retail revenue comes from these locations.

"Our customer's habits have made it clear that they no longer require a physical post office to conduct most of their postal business."

(Reporting by Wendell Marsh; Editing by Greg McCune)