Canada Post to close Saturday retail services in Gore Bay

GORE BAY—The Canada Post office in Gore Bay will no longer offer retail services on Saturdays as of July 20.

“We’re going to be closed for retail services in Gore Bay on Saturdays, effective July 20,” confirmed Eugene Knapik, spokesperson for Canada Post when contacted by the Recorder late last week. The post office will be open Monday to Thursday from 8:30 am to 5 pm and on Fridays from 8:30 am to 6 pm.

“The numbers are relatively small, we don’t have the customers coming in to keep the retail part of our services open on Saturdays,” said Mr. Knapik. “Letter mail volumes have been dropping considerably throughout Canada and business decisions have had to be made on delivery services and to provide services when it is best suited. The most important thing is we want to continue the services we provide and that is why we are making these type of adjustments and protecting the service by working economically.”

“Our extensive retail network and the service we offer to local communities are not only important to these communities but also to Canada Post. It’s a competitive advantage that will help us to compete in growing markets such as e-commerce,” explained Clive Henderson, local area superintendent at the Canada Post Sault Ste. Marie office, in a letter to all local customers.

“However, with mail volumes declining, we need to make smart choices to maintain local service without becoming a burden on Canadian taxpayers,” explained Mr. Henderson. “We stand by our mandate of serving Canadians while remaining profitable, understanding that our costs continue to rise while mail volumes decline.”

“We intend to focus on serving our customers in Gore Bay when they use the post office most,” wrote Mr. Henderson. “A careful review has determined that we have a very small number of local customers on Saturdays. Therefore, while we will continue to offer the people in Gore Bay full access to the post office during regular hours Monday to Friday, as of July 20, retail services will no longer be offered on Saturday.”

Mr. Henderson explained that the Canada Post weekday hours in Gore Bay will remain the same except for one hour later on Friday.

“Postal box customers will still have full access to their mail through the postal box lobby. Customers in Gore Bay will continue to enjoy access to a full range of postal services and products at their post office. There will be no change to the range of services,” wrote Mr. Henderson. He added, “while I can appreciate this decision may be difficult for your community, I want to reassure you that Canada Post remains committed to keeping a strong retail presence in rural Canada and here in the community of Gore Bay.”

“All current jobs will be retained at the post office, although in some cases as employees retire we may not fill these positions,” said Mr. Knapik. “We are looking all across the country where we can make our services more efficient.”  He explained, “in 2013 we delivered over one billion fewer letters than in 2006 in Canada. What we are seeing is more customers shopping online, and less in retail. It’s still important to provide these retail services, but people are using and doing more shopping online.”

“Canadians are using the post office differently so we have to adapt as well,” added Mr. Knapik.

Gore Bay Mayor Ron Lane did not want to comment on the news from Canada Post at this time.