Bpost is now offering retailers a collection service in its post offices, which is supposed to relieve the "headache" of delivering their online sales, the postal and logistics company announced on Wednesday.
"In this way, the seller can concentrate fully on selling and processing, without having to worry about delivery or assigning staff to a collection point. Local post offices thus become a storage space and a local collection point for SMEs,” Bpost explained in a release.
In concrete terms, the seller prepares the parcels with the goods sold. They create the labels on this website and stick them on the packages. They then bring their parcels to a post office of their choice.
As soon as the parcel is available, the buyer receives an e-mail with the address of the post office where they can pick it up at a time that suits them, during opening hours.
Bpost offers this service in some 650 post offices in Belgium. The cost to the seller is €1 per parcel. Packages remain available for 14 days at the post office.
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"This initiative is part of the further development of e-commerce and at the same time allows a very efficient and truly local approach to the experience", said Petra De Sutter, Minister for Public Enterprise, quoted in a press release.
"Post offices relieve local traders of the headache of putting their digital sales into practice. In addition, this makes it easier for consumers to make local purchases despite the confinement.”
Bpost is faced with an unprecedented wave of parcels to be delivered against the backdrop of containment measures and the approach of the holiday season. The company has hired an additional 3,000 people and does not rule out hiring more if necessary.
Meanwhile, retailers have scaled back their promotional activities for Black Friday – an American tradition involving huge low-price sales the day after Thanksgiving, that has been imported to Europe in recent years – due to Bpost's struggles to keep up.
The Brussels Times