The Canadian national postal service, Canada Post, is experimenting with new services and approaches to the traditional post office offering with new innovative ‘concept stores’.
Canada Post delivers two out of every three parcels Canadians order online, which means we’re quickly becoming the trusted face of thousands of online retailers. These new stores signify the importance we place on that relationship and the need to evolve to serve Canadians’ changing postal needs.
– Doug Ettinger, chief commercial officer, Canada Post
Two of the most popular concept store features are self-service shipping stations and parcel drop boxes, which allow customers to prepare and send parcels whenever it’s convenient. Canada Post currently has three “full scale” concept store locations in: Richmond Hill, Ontario; Edmonton, Alberta; and Vancouver, British Columbia. And a number of smaller versions.
At the touch-screen shipping stations, users can choose their desired service, scan items for weight and size, pay with credit or debit cards and print up a shipping label. Once the shipping label is applied (or if you already have one), the next step is to scan the parcel and place it inside the secure drop box. Users receive an immediate confirmation receipt with online tracking information.
Some concept stores offer enhanced features, such as an on-site fitting room with full-length mirror where customers can try on online clothing purchases right away and arrange to return whatever doesn’t fit.
For the ultimate in convenience, drive-thru parcel centres give customers the option of never having to get out of their car. Visitors simply scan the barcode on their pickup notice at the welcome kiosk, then pull up to the pick-up window to collect their parcel. There’s even overhead protection from bad weather. And if an item is heavy or bulky, Canada Post staff will place it in directly in the vehicle.