Staples Gives Mini Post Offices the Boot. Sort Of.

Union protests worked, speculate some of Tuesday’s news accounts about Staples officials’ decision to end its participation in the pilot for the USPS Retail Partner Expansion Program. Actually, the test didn’t work, says USPS.
Staples representatives didn’t return an email requesting comment.

“The Postal Service and Staples have been piloting a program at 82 Staples locations to test the feasibility of offering postal products and services inside Staples stores,” USPS spokeswoman Darleen Reid says in an emailed response to Target Marketing. “Based on the information learned from the test, the Postal Service and Staples have agreed to end the pilot by August 1st.”

However, a postal union statement called the Staples action “a ruse,” because Staples will remain an “Approved Postal Provider.”

Reid says that is the manner in which Staples will continue to sell postal products and services.

“Staples can now offer postal products and services, side by side with other shipping services,” Reid writes. “In the retail expansion program pilot with Staples, only postal products were offered.”

The Approved Shipper Program’s been around a long time and its locations “offer the most commonly requested postal services, including domestic and international Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express and First Class shipping and mailing services,” Reid states. The 82 Staples locations will fully join their number by Aug. 29, she says.

The postal union isn’t completely statisfied.

“The Staples announcement and a letter from the USPS dated July 7 make it clear: They intend to continue to privatize postal retail operations, replace living-wage Postal Service jobs with low-wage Staples jobs, and compromise the safety and security of the mail,” states the postal union, APWU.

Direct mailers: Will this change any campaigns? What will this change?

Please respond in the comments section below.

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

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