Friday, August 20, 2010

Office Depot + Post Office = Opportunity?

In case you missed it, Office Depot is now selling postal products and services at 1,100 of it's stores.

They will offer Priority Mail, Express Mail and postage stamps. Office Depot is already a FedEx and UPS shipper.

What do you think about this arrangement? Will it bring in new business?  Comment here.




28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Will it bring in "new" business? No...it will merely shift revenue from the local post offices, which is the long term goal of HQ. Drop our revenue down, you can reduce staff, and perhaps even close the office. There is nothing more disappointing then to have your HQ working so hard to get rid of you.

Anonymous said...

I am wondering about the security of the mail if we have outside places excepting parcels now. Are they required to ask the questions we do or are the just a drop and go?

Anonymous said...

Oddly enough....I am not concerned about the security. Whoever granted the authority for Office Depot to take the mail should be responsible. All of these 1,100 offices should report directly to and be accountable to..the VP who approved the contracts, and not to the local postmaster who has little or nor control over the operations....but are simply the whipping boy when something goes wrong.

herb1013 said...

This is nothing new. These managers may think they hav a new idea but we had contract stations in the late 50s early 60s. Our town of 42,000 people had a main PO center of towm. 10 blocks south was a branch office. 15 blocks south east of the branch was a contract candy store. about 25 blocks north and at the north end of town was another contract drug store. We delivered to a small town north of us with about 7,000 people. That also had a branch office with one clerk and about 10 blocks north near the end of town was a contract candy store.The more things change the more they stay the same.

silver said...

Last year I had cause to use a 'contract' PO inside a local 'upscale' book store. I was mailing a parcel. The contract clerk was very rude, unknowledgeable about our services and she bad mouthed the Post Office. Don't think that customers will be given the same caring service at the Office Depot that they would have received at a Post Office.

Anonymous said...

That's the plan to close offices and I believe it's just one more step for a case to go private and push for 5 day delivery.

Anonymous said...

It's a good thing :)
Sales UP for postal products !
I know the minature post offices purchase thousands of dollars worth of stamps at a time for resale ... that's GOOD !

Neihart said...

I think its great to shift some of our retail operations to other locactions, especially if that is where we can come in contact with our customers and compete directly with FedUP. That will free up our outstanding, unparalelled retail network for other important work in service of our mandate to provide communication services to the American public, like high speed internet access and etc.

I'd really like to know if the Office Depot people are asking the Hazmat question - doubtful. Then who will be blamed when a parcel bomb gets mailed? Not Office Depot.

Anonymous said...

The majority of the above comments alluding to ENTITLEMENT are the reason the Postal Service is in the poor financial shape we are in. We need to move in to the 21st century and the more retail outlets we have the better. I use ONLY contract stations and the wait time in line there is easily 20 minutes less and the employees are much more professional. Lose your sense of entitlement and save the company.

Anonymous said...

I, too, have used contract stations and have found the employees rude, rushed and uninformed about USPS products and regulations. Give me a well-trained SSA anytime. If there are more retail outlets providing poor service I don't see how that will save the company or enhance our reputation.

Anonymous said...

Will Office Depot be subjected to the scrutiny of the Mystery Shopper?

grannybunny said...

I think this will bring in more revenue. However, I am concerned that the employees offering our services at Office Depot are not Postal employees. I was an SSA for 5+ years, and our mailing regulations and services are much more complicated than one would think. I fear USPS will get short shrift under this arrangement.

2chihuahuas said...

Great idea but they should be using Postal employees for this work.

Anonymous said...

Where will this additional revenue be allocated? The local office? Nope. It will be allocated at a corporate level. This will not help the local office at all, but will be a shift of revenue away from the local branches of the post office. I have issues about the hazmat question, and security of the mail. The uninformed public are being duped into thinking that this is just a more convenient location of their local branch of the post office--afterall, they are carrying the Post Office logo--they must be the same, right? One more nail in the coffin for the USPS.

Anonymous said...

I think it is good to expand our services to more places that are conveniently located and have longer hours. However, I'm also concerned about the employees in the contract offices not knowing all our services and policies. I had one bookstore clerk tell me they "didn't do Priority Mail" and I should take it to UPS. It would be nice if we could give them the 80 hours of training our window clerks get but the turnover in retail stores makes that impractical. If they have POS cash registers that should make it easier, but as mentioned, will they ask the right questions and recommend the right service? Maybe we should limit the services availabe in retail stores to just stamps? And, though such outlets might be convenient in larger towns that have these stores, they won't help the small towns and those are the offices HQ seems to be targeting to close. The customers will have to drive to another town to mail something if there's a contract retail office or not.

Barbara J Morrison said...

A definite opportunity for us, I think it's great! This "partnership" makes sense to me.

Anonymous said...

I am all for making our products and service handier for our customers, that being said with them offering services of our competitors are they going to have any loyalty to the USPS. And like at every PO window in the country people come in all the time and say they want to fedex this letter, so are contract stations going to educate the customer on the options of overnite service or are just going to sell them Fedex?

Anonymous said...

I have been mailing letters and packages since I was is high school. I would go out of my way to go to a "real" Post Office to mail a package. After I buy and wrap a present for a family member, I am more concerned with my package getting to it's destination safely and timely than I am with convenience.
There was the time I procrastinated and went at the last minute to a contract station and I found the clerk was not knowledgeable and was so concerned about getting "other grocery store" duties done that I did not feel that I got her full attention and worried how my package would be handled.

Anonymous said...

It is only natural that Office Depot employees/managment will promote the mailing/package service that gives them the best commission. I wonder if the USPS is paying them adequately.

Anonymous said...

This is a good opportunity to keep our image out there in front of people and remind our customers of the service we provide. I have to wonder, though, if the Office Depot employees will offer our service over our competitors, offer them over us, or let the customer compare and decide? I just have to wonder if we will realize all the revenue that we have the potential to get from this partnership.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts are anytime we can get into the face of our competitors, that is a good thing. I agree a win win situation would be to have a trained Postal employee/s in those locations. With no or limited training being given to postal employees at this time, I am very sure the retail people at these outlets will know even less. I also agree with the comments about the outlets promoting USPS over the other companies. I would hope they all enter into this cooperative with the idea that the Postal Service is really a good investment for their customers.

Anonymous said...

Are they going to make them ask the 9 ridiculous questions that our SSAs are required to ask? I doubt it and some people will probably go there for that reason alone. More jobs lost! I hate this idea!

Anonymous said...

Great idea, and I hope it generates new revenue.
They should use the KISS theory with these outlets.
Keep It Simple Stupid.
Allow them to use our simple products, flat rate boxes and envelopes. Anything else may be too much for the staff at these outlets.

Anonymous said...

More visiability but is it really more revenue? How will you tell? We'll look at the revenue from Office Depot but would that have been the same at a post office or did we just move the money from one place to another? Maybe there will be less time in line at Office Depot, as long as you go at the right time but that can be said for a post office too. What's the surcharge to the customer? Is Office Depot doing this for free? We have to be more visible and we have to grow our retail business but is this really the way? How about getting more internet companies to use or at least offer USPS as a shipping option. Probably 1/2 the companies I view and would buy from on line,don't offer USPS. Of course they don't usually get my business either.

Anonymous said...

I would just like to say thank you for taking my job and giving it to someone who is not a loyal employee. What about my family? My future? I want to work with the company to make it stronger, but it is hard to do when they cut your hours to 4 a week.

Anonymous said...

I think this will only hurt our name. People look to us for secure and fast service. I think we will lose the publics trust in our service. What about inspections or if they fail to dispatch mail correstly. What accountability? I just wonder why we have all this training and rules and regs and now anyone can do it...just beside myself on this....

Anonymous said...

Great move!!!!!

IowaPM said...

Did you know that they can charge a handling fee on top of the postage? A customer called me upset because she was charged 5.00 for postage and then another 5.00 for handling. I told her that yes they could do that and maybe next time she should go online and use click n ship and we will pickup for free.