delivery

Canada Post’s New Outlet Concept

Canada Post is now offering more secure options via their new outlet concept stores in Richmond (British Columbia), Edmonton (Alberta) and Vancouver (British Columbia).

These stores have drive-thru parcel pickup services, free wi-fi, changing rooms and vending machines that sell stamps, prepaid envelopes and anything you need to ship 24/7 – Great for anyone that wants to shop and ship at all hours of the night.

People who have issues with “porch bandits” can also use these new concept stores or the existing self-service options found at the Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal post offices listed on the Canada Post statement.

Free Shipping on Orders Over $25!

Bad News For Canada Post?

Amazon.com has not only expanded the Whole Foods delivery services to Prime Members in 32 American metropolitan areas but is now experimenting with their own courier service, SWA, in Los Angeles.

“Shipping with Amazon” is expected to become a major competitor to the existing companies. But it’ll probably take years for them to expand this new parcel delivery service into Canada, although i’ve always thought they should open something up at the Mirabel Airport north of Montreal.

One has to wonder what Canada Post would do if this happened, now that they’re relying on parcel deliveries for their profits.

Their profits had climbed from 1.22 billion dollars in 2011 to 1.75 billion dollars in 2016 because of parcel deliveries according to their 2016 financial report so the introduction of another competitor would not be good, especially one that would divert more of Amazon.ca‘s parcel traffic away from them.

My local Whole Foods store here in Ottawa currently only delivers platters and a select number of items. But I can already order their brands via Amazon.ca and I suspect more will be made available this year.

Now that Best Buy has decided to remove CDs from their stores in the summer, I guess I will be relying on my Prime membership a bit more than before. But i’m still hoping to pop by my local music store from time to time.

My Year End Predictions For Retail

With the death of Sears Canada, had become obvious that retail is changing way quicker than anticipated by economists.

Back in the 90’s, I suspected something was going on in the industry because one of the stores I had expected to have a future went under a few years after I had left the company.

Consumers Distributing was a chain of stores in Canada and the United States that operated with catalogs like Sears but dedicated only a small portion of their retail space to displays at all of their stores. And most of their merchandise could be found stacked on shelves the back of their outlets, which were brought forward by associates to the consumer, who chose their products from catalogs located in the retail space.

Had they survived into the 2000’s, I suspect they would have progressed from their six-digit catalog system, where people physically presented order slips to an order desk or called an order in using their credit cards, to a touchscreen system that simply gave consumers an order number. And I suspect Amazon would have simply purchased the company, automating the warehouse space further.

Unfortunately, the 212 store chain went under because Sears Canada had a foothold in the catalog market and it just could not survive both the recession of the time and Walmart’s expansion into the Canadian market. But I suspect Amazon may have a limited number of retail outlets that closely resemble Consumer’s Distributing stores in the future, where people could place orders and pick up purchases 24/7 from coded lockers.

Amazon Pickup Point locations already exist in Canada and the United States. And I believe they will likely expand these to Whole Foods locations, a chain that was recently purchased by Amazon.com, creating one stop shop locations in the major cities.

I’m personally hoping they’re going to convert my local Sears Home store here in Western Ottawa to a Whole Foods/Amazon outlet. But I doubt they will consider taking over that many Sears retail stores because the large department store format is pretty much dead.

Consumers are previewing merchandise online so retailers will not need to provide as many displays as they did before. And with 3D technology, I suspect people will scroll through merchandise on virtual reality headsets with customized 3D imagery before 2020.

Optometrist retailer sites already offer services in which people can place frames on their faces and all one would need to do in the very near future is to provide their measurements for virtual models, who would wear clothing for consumers to preview.

Norstrom currently offers a service where clothing is set aside for people to try out and I suspect other stores will offer this convenience shortly through their website, with the aforementioned virtual modeling. And I wouldn’t be surprised some stores would offer perks like high-end coffee and/or liquor through these services as well.

In regards to drones and self-driving vehicles, I don’t know if drones would be the best choice for our weather.

Not only does it get quite cold in most of Canada’s major cities during the winter, it also gets quite windy.

Those who have tried to take digital photographs in the cold here can attest to issues related to draining batteries and I’m sure that drones would be constantly slammed on the side of buildings and into trees by the wind in my suburb. We even get the occasional microburst here.

Self-driving vehicles are currently being tested in my community and I’m expecting pizza/food delivery to be the first service in my area to take advantage of this new technology. But I doubt I’ll be seeing drones delivering goods in my area before 2020, especially fragile items.

The Transport Canada regulations to fly drones are quite tight and I believe we are more likely to get deliveries from our grocery stores and pharmacies in normal vehicles for quite some time. Several of my local grocery stores have only recently started offering click and collect services.

I personally don’t see many advances in music retail either.

As you may or may not know, I had originally wanted to have a career in music retailing. But when the MP3 came along I knew stores would likely go online.

Vinyl sales will continue to expand slightly until higher resolution recordings become the norm and offer the depth of vinyl. And High Definition radio will eventually become the norm, requiring consumers to purchase equipment to listen to the higher resolution recordings, although most stations will likely continue to broadcast in FM and simply include high definition recording data on the same signal.

I don’t believe Canada will follow Norway’s example and go all digital because we haven’t gone all digital when it comes to television in the minor markets. And the government will probably want as much access to Canadians as possible for emergency and weather-related broadcasts so I won’t personally be purchasing an HD radio compatible device for some time.

Even if I wanted to purchase a receiver now they’re over $100 at the moment and there are only three of four HD radio stations in my city. It just isn’t a priority for most and will not likely be until well past 2020, although virtual reality multi-cam live concerts could be a “thing” soon.

4k cameras are getting incredibly compact and can be placed in multiple discrete locations at venues, enabling broadcasts to fans via the internet now. Mostly static front row, mezzanine, and other multiple angle shots but we can just imagine what they’ll be able to do soon with VR headsets. 360-degree 4k live shots of entire performances from the front row or stage, perhaps?

I don’t expect everything to happen next year but it’ll be quite interesting after 2020.

Canada Post Warns Of Delays Due To Weather

Canada Post has issued an advisory stating that deliveries may be delayed in some areas due to severe weather. Click here for details.

Campaign To Save Door To Door Deliveries

I’ve been seeing signs for this campaign around my neighbourhood so I thought I’d link it for people who are interested in participating : savecanadapost.ca

Canada Post Update

New community mailboxes will be introduced to these communities this year :

Instead of nine individual square compartments, these feature sixteen individual rectangular compartments per mailbox so more addresses can be serviced per mailbox. And some mailboxes that don’t feature a mail slot and parcel compartments will have more individual compartments.

A picture of the new community mailboxes can be found in the Community Mailbox Backgrounder (PDF). Comments and questions in regards the new community mailbox will be accepted at feedback.canadapost.com.

By the way, you have until the end of this month to stock up on domestic “permanent” stamps at 63 cents. The domestic postage rate for letters under 30 grams with be 83 cents on April 1st in booklets, coils and panes and $1 per stamp when purchased by single unit.

Rates in general for domestic and international letter mail will be going up on April 1st, 2014. Light parcel rates had gone up in mid January.