Beyond the line of customers being waited on by retail associates at the Mt. Laurel, NJ, Post Office, three tall circular displays of greeting cards stand. The displays don’t seem at all out of place. This is, after all, where you mail greeting cards.
Select Post Offices, under a year-long test launched in October, will offer birthday, anniversary, baby, congratulations, encouragement, sympathy, thank you and wedding greeting cards.
A limited line of greeting cards are now displayed in 500 Post Offices nationwide. The sites were chosen based on availability of display space, the number of customers visiting the location and convenience to customers. An additional 1,000 retail locations have already been selected and will begin selling cards after the first of the year.
According to Bob Bernstock, president, Mailing and Shipping Services, offering greeting cards in these test markets will determine whether customer interest is high enough to warrant expanding the program.
Additional cards will also be offered during various holidays including Mother’s Day.
Why is the Postal Service selling greeting cards?
USPS is continuously seeking opportunities to enhance customers’ experience in Post Office retail lobbies, to provide products that meet customers’ mailing and shipping needs, and to grow revenue.
Greeting cards were identified in consumer market research as a potential opportunity and are a natural fit to the Postal Service core First-Class Mail business. It’s convenient and can potentially draw customers to other USPS product lines. The test will determine what customers like and if sales warrant expanding the program.
The cards are made by Sunrise Greetings, a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards.
“The cards are really nice,” said a Mt. Laurel customer as she browsed through birthday cards. “Look at this one,” she said laughing. “This is really cute.”
Both the Postal Service and the Greeting Card Association believe that increasing the number of locations offering greeting cards will help the industry as a whole.
“There’s nothing like getting a card in the mail,” the customer said as she continued to shop for cards.
The Postal Service is banking on it.