Canada Post concept stores aim to redefine post office “of tomorrow”

Canada Post’s vision of the future services are taking physical shape in the form of a new concept store that now has three live, working locations in Richmond Hill, Edmonton and Vancouver. The firm’s strategy of investing in innovative technologies and ideas includes allowing consumers to try on clothes in-store and return them immediately, without taking them home. A spokesperson said “We’re especially proud of our new concept stores in select locations across the country.”

These unique stores are the first of their kind in North America. Each one is a miniature innovation lab that allows CPC to test new services and try fresh ways of meeting the evolving needs of online shoppers. The organization says “for postal customers, the locations are a place to experience the post office of tomorrow, today.”

Customer convenience is a major thrust of the model at the forefront of the concept stores. Whether a customer is using the post office to pick up an online purchase, or for small business needs, the goal is to provide easy access to practical solutions and services whenever they are needed.

“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,” says Doug Ettinger, Canada Post’s chief commercial officer. “These new stores signify the importance we place on that relationship and the need to evolve to serve Canadians’ changing postal needs.”

Two of the most popular concept store features are self-serve shipping stations and parcel drop boxes, which allow customers to prepare and send parcels whenever it’s convenient.

At the touch-screen shipping stations, customers select a desired service, scan items for weight and size, pay with credit or debit cards and print shipping labels. Once they’ve applied the shipping label (or if they already have one), the next step is to scan the parcel and place it inside a secure drop box. The customer gets 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. They simply scan the barcode on a pickup notice at the welcome kiosk, then pull up to the pick-up window to collect the parcel. There’s even overhead protection from bad weather. If items are heavy or bulky, CPC staff will place it in the customer’s vehicle.

Called bright and modern, open and inviting, the new concept stores offer other amenities, too, including free WiFi and vending machines that sell stamps, prepaid envelopes, and shipping supplies. There’s also space for other retailers to participate in a growing retail trend: pop-up shops or temporary outlets.

Canada Post currently operates three full scale concept store locations:

Richmond Hill Drive-Thru Parcel Centre
8889 Yonge Street
Richmond Hill, Ont.

Edmonton Drive-Thru Parcel Centre
17310 99th Avenue
Edmonton, Alta.

Vancouver Main Post Office
495 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, B.C.

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