Going Postal

The recent announcement of post office closings can open up a window of opportunity for supermarkets.

According to news reports, the U.S. Postal Service is in danger of running out of money and shutting down on September 30. A few months ago the Service announced it was seeking to close as many of 3,700 post offices across the country to save money.

While this is indeed dire news it does offer an opportunity for supermarkets.Why move some of these endangered branches into supermarkets. It would be a win-win for both the Postal Service and the supermarket industry, affording consumers convenience and giving supermarkets extra traffic flow. The Buehler’s Fresh Foods in North Canton, Ohio, has a post office beyond its front end, and it is doing pretty well, from what I hear.

For consumers, the advantage of placing post offices in supermarkets would be longer hours and easier parking. Plus, many could kill two birds with one stone and pick up a gallon of milk, bucket of chicken or whatever else they need in addition to that book of stamps or care package they are sending out to Aunt Mabel.

Astute retailers could capitalize on the situation by merchandising gift baskets filled with local and store-made signature products that shoppers could easily send to children at college and relatives and friends who have moved away to different cities. A little table could even be set up allowing shoppers to instantly write out a birthday card that they purchased in the card aisle and drop it off for mailing right there. Think about the time savings that offers.

Perhaps FMI and NGA could reach out to the U.S. Postal service and see what can be done about moving some of the branches on that closing list to a nearby supermarket. The public relations would be fantastic since even people who rarely use the post office anymore don’t want to see them closed.At the very least they could inquire about having a mail box set up outside the store. For those of us who still mail cards and pay our bills the old-fashioned way it would be a convenient option. We might even venture inside your store and do some extra shopping.

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