USPS and Staples to end retail outsourcing program

Staples-that-was-easy.-LogoThe Wall Street Journal and other media outlets report that Staples and the US Postal Service have agreed to end the pilot program that sought to outsource post office retail services to counters inside Staples stores. Staples will instead join the USPS “approved shipper” program:

Staples Inc. and the U.S. Postal Service said Monday they will end a pilot program to set up mini post offices in the company’s retail outlets, days after one of the nation’s biggest teachers unions called for a boycott of the chain amid growing criticism from labor.

Darleen Reid, a postal agency spokeswoman, declined to say whether union opposition had played a role in deciding to end the pilot program, which will end by Aug. 1. “We respect their right to their opinion,” Ms. Reid said. “This decision is all about expanding service to our customers.”

The announcement from Staples appeared to mark a retreat from a plan to expand the program into the chain’s nearly 1,500 outlets if the pilot was successful.

But the postal workers union said it wasn’t satisfied and called the announcement a ruse. “This attempt at trickery shows that the ‘Don’t Buy Staples’ movement is having an effect. We intend to keep up the pressure until Staples gets out of the mail business,” said Mark Dimondstein, president of the postal workers union, which has 200,000 members representing about half of the nation’s postal workers.

USPS spokesperson Darleen Reid may have inadvertently confirmed Dimondstein’s claim when she told the Boston Globe

We look forward to continuing the partnership whether it’s called Retail Partner Expansion or approved shipper. We just want our customers to know they can continue to get postal services at these 82 locations.

Read more: Staples, Postal Service to End Program to Set Up Post Offices – WSJ.

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