Postal officials say they have no choice, as the popularity of electronic bill payment and communication has sharply cut into revenue. Most of the locations on the yet-to-be-released list are in rural areas.

"We've lost a tremendous amount of first class mail; it's down 28% in the last four years and that's what pays the bills; that's what pays for six days of delivery. As you lose that, you have to make decisions. We're no different than any other business." Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe told the Wall Street Journal.

The Post Office may make a transformation over the next few years, adopting a "village Post Office" concept, where stamps and limited postal services will be available at gas stations and grocery stores in town where brick and mortar branches are closing.