Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Stamps and coffee - Do the two mix?

For years, we've been encouraging people to use alternate access to buy postal products and services.

Grocery stores, usps.com, Click-N-Ship, and contract stations have seen dramatic increases in the percentage of postage business. They've taken our product to where it's most convenient. 

But what do you think impact would be if we attracted people to our lobbies, renting out space to coffee vendors or bakeries? Besides the rental revenue, what do you think our customers would think?

Comment here.

23 comments:

PostMuse said...

I'm not a postal worker, just someone who likes to keep postal workers employed. BUT, I would love to see post offices have a coffee/bake shop attached. And lovely stationery and postcards available for purchase. A postal themed coffeehouse would be my favorite haunt, and I know I'm not the only one. Letter writing is fun and a great bargain, too! There are plenty of letter/postcard bloggers out there who would love to promote such a venture.

Anonymous said...

I think an environment such as this would encourage someone buy a cup of something, buy a card, etc. and sit down to write something thoughtful. Not too sure if you'd want to have wi-fi though; that might discourage the card-buying.

Anonymous said...

Coffee (& that type machine)
in lobby = YES !
Bakery = NO !

Joan said...

Coffee, hot roll, letter or card material (with pens)a table to sit, relax and write to friens. Stand in line and buy a stamp. Sure, are they not the staples of writting letters?

Anonymous said...

Every time we have an event in our small office the public always shows up. They love the coffee and cookies or whatever. I don't know about every day but I am sure the coffee would go over anytime. In small towns the post office is a gathering place anyway.

Anonymous said...

If I had the space, I'd love to have a sandwich shop adjacent to my office with tables, cards and stationery...another business would be great for the community!

Anonymous said...

In a small community you would not want to run competition with the "food and drinks", with the local cafe or restaurant. In the larger cities a coffee shop/bakery type business might be nicely located beside the Post Office or ajoining the lobby.
I think the Post Office should get into retail items of some sort, other than key chains with postage stamp emblems on them, and items that are "just" postal themed. Why can't there be a Postmaster Barbie or Ken, or Letter Carrier Barbie or Ken....popcorn cans with the Eagle emblem .....jams/jellies or cheese and meats...contained in a collectable tin?? COME ON PEOPLE...let's start THINKING OUTSIDE the "DROP"-BOX :)
Wanda Frasier, PM
Burr Oak KS 66936

jasmine krotkov said...

As a postal customer and a postal employee I'd love to see not only coffee and donuts but internet access, banking, intergovernmental access points and other pertinent services offerred by/with the postal service. The problem that will arise with it is the same as arose when we tried to offer stamp-themed merchandise: private companies will cry "unfair competition!" and then congress will bow to their donors and refuse to allow any non-postal revenue streams. Sad but true.

Anonymous said...

In small towns it would be great, but then again the small towns may not have POs in the near future.

Anonymous said...

I think a better opportunity would be to rent out space in under-utilized facilities for such an enterprise.

Anonymous said...

I have coffee and goodies quite often, but if the small post offices were allowed to sell greeting cards, etc. Stamp books were a good seller for this office, but they have been taken away from us. I feel we are being pushed out slowly but surely towards closure. As long as we are around, let's try to at least have the same opportunities as do the large offices.

Anonymous said...

I think it would be a great idea, people could relax visit with friends and as they talk they would be reminded of special occassions and if the Post Office sells greeting cards, it would be a perfect time to buy a stamp and sent a card. They would be glad they didn't miss communicating on the occasion.

Anonymous said...

I think Coffee and goodies in a larger location would be fine. I think for small towns maybe $1.00 movie rental machines would be an asset. Smaller towns have to travel for such a service.

Anonymous said...

Anything like this would help our bottom line. But I think we must get back to customer service. Having someone stand in line for 5-10 minutes for one stamp is not customer service. bring back the single stamp machines and our wait time in line would drop enough to get someones attention.

Anonymous said...

Somedays I only have time for just getting the mail up and waiting on customers, to add a coffee shop, bakery just wouldn't work on those days. I really would hate to take business away from the other small town businesses. As for having internet in the lobby - no unless it was just access to Usps.com. Just had a person tell me they would like to have my email so they could email me a card. The look on my face said it all, they kinda chuckled and said oh yea you would prefer that I mail one! Right on buddy!!

Anonymous said...

I think the IMPORTANT question is: What is the USPS willing to "endorse" as a choice of F&B items to make available in our Lobbies?? What risk do we take when ALL the Health "nuts" start complaining that we don't offer enough "low carb".."sugar free".. ALL Natural ingredient items..etc?
Personally, I think it's a gamble we should not consider!!

Anonymous said...

I have always thought that a coffee shop would be great. People come to the post office to not only to get their mail, but to see friends and catch up on the village news. They stand for hours talking. Why not prvide them with someplace to settle back and enjoy the news.

Anonymous said...

YES - the employees would be the biggest customer ;)

Anonymous said...

My concern would be.....will it be universal. Some offices might like it....others may not want to do it. Would it be up to the Postmaster to decide.....or will be "forced" upon us to do it.

Paul said...

When I was a kid in Helena, Montana; the Post Office had a sight-impaired man running a coffee/newspaper kiosk right in the lobby. He was as much a fixture as any of the PO Boxes, old fashioned retail windows, or marble floors. Yes, bring them back in the larger offices!

Anonymous said...

i would love to be able to sell coffee and soft drinks, plus donouts or pasteries.and greeting cards. here in my community there is nothing that offers this.it would help my revenue

larocca said...

I think that we need to do something coffee and donuts would be a start. Great ideas,but a fax machine and also a notary would help.

Megan said...

I think it would be a great idea to have this. I would love to come into a post office on my day off and sit in a writer's friendly environment and srink a up of coffee or eat a muffin while I write a letter to my family or friends around the world.
If we do do this the people running the bakery or coffee shop area should be certified as postal clerks for that paricular post office. Also should put one of those newspaper stands inside lobby if the town/city doesn't have one nearby.