Canada Post eyes second retail outlet in Terrace

But postal union warns that service at Canada Post's own centre could be reduced

CANADA POST wants to open a second retail outlet similar to the one it has at Shoppers Drug Mart on Lakelse Ave.

At one time it had its eyes on a location in or around the downtown intersection of Kalum and Lakelse but is now looking elsewhere, corporation spokesman Eugene Knapik said last week.

“We have expanded the scope of our search. It is no longer limited to that or any specific location,” he said.

That Kalum and Lakelse intersection would have been mere blocks from Shoppers Drug Mart and Canada Post’s own depot in the federal building on the corner of Emerson and Lazelle Ave.

“The franchises are not meant to be stand alone businesses, but rather compliment the host business and generate traffic for that business,” said Knapik.

“Our retail managers know their marketplace and look for host business that will meet those needs.”

And although Canada Post is considering a second retail franchise location, Knapik says its own depot and office won’t be affected, at least not for now.

“There are no plans to make any changes to our corporate outlet at this time,” he said.

Canada Post is embarking upon a series of changes across the country to stem growing financial losses as more and more communications business takes to digital distribution methods.

One of the largest changes involves reducing or canceling door to door delivery in both larger and smaller centres.

At the same time, Canada Post has just increase its rates – a letter stamp now bought singly costs $1.

The prospect of these and more changes has the union representing Canada Post workers warning of reduced service.

Tim Armstrong from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, which represents Canada Post workers, said Canada Post’s strategy to open up franchises is hurting its own corporate retail outlets causing them to close down altogether in some cases.

“In many cases if they aren’t outright closing down the retail outlet that’s corporate run like the one in Terrace [on Lazelle] they are moving it to a ‘Dutch door’ model,” said Armstrong.

“They take away all the retail products and cash counters and basically put up a double door. You come in and ring a buzzer and someone working in the back doing mail processing has to come up and serve you.”

“If they don’t downsize they contract out services to places like Shoppers as they have done in Terrace, and the retail franchise is within blocks and bleeds away revenues from the corporate retail and they use that as an excuse to shut it down all together.”