News Byte: Post Offices Come to Staples

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Source: Evan Kalish, Going Postal
Source: Evan Kalish, Going Postal

In the wake of announcing a $5 billion loss for 2013, the U.S. Postal Service continues to do deals with private industry that will lighten its operating expense load.

Staples today opened Post Offices—or contract postal units as USPS has formally dubbed them—in 82 stores in markets including San Francisco, Atlanta, and Massachusetts. The mini post offices offer basic services such as stamps, package delivery, and international mail at a time when the Postal Service continues to shutter hundreds of Post Offices.

Staples, the first retailer to enlist in a USPS pilot program called the Retail Partner Expansion Program, is the second national retail power to partner with the agency in the last week. Yesterday, the Postal Service began Sunday delivery of packages in an exclusive deal with Amazon.

Sam Vasquez, postmaster of San Jose, where a new Staples postal unit was christened today, noted the outlets enhance customer service. “Customers have an additional option,” he says. “They can access services seven days a week.”

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