The U.S. Postal Service is conducting a pilot program designed to make it easier for retailers in malls to ship packages to customers via the USPS.
The Mall Package Shipment Program is being tested at the Mall of America, Bloomington, MN; Tysons Corner Center, McLean, VA; and Pembroke Lakes Mall and Sawgrass Mills in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
In the program, postal carriers pick up packages from retailers at the end of the day. Currently, postal carriers only drop off mail in the morning and do not pick up outgoing packages. Retailers can select any of the postal service's existing delivery methods, with no additional charge for the pickup service.
According to the USPS, benefits for shippers include: Saturday collection and delivery at no extra charge; no residential surcharges; the ability to ship to Post Office boxes, military post offices and U.S. territories at no additional charge; free Delivery Confirmation on Priority Mail packages; and free packaging supplies for Express Mail and Priority Mail.
Testing will last six months.
“This program began with a needs assessment approximately one year ago at the Tysons Corner Center,” USPS spokeswoman Sue Brennan said, “going from store to store asking how the postal service could be of more service to that particular outlet.”
Brennan said the service allows the USPS to be more competitive.
“We believe we can provide a valuable service to our customers, mall retailers, by merely repositioning our existing core product line,” she said. “This is a business proposition plain and simple — a targeted sales approach that is focusing on a microcosm of small and large customers in a very confined space: a mall.”