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Wyckham Canada Post outlet too costly to keep open
Sorry, MRU — you’ll have to trek off campus to mail letters and process student loan papers now.
The little Canada Post outlet that was tucked away in a corner of the Wyckham House basement closed its counter as of Sept. 1.
The Students’ Association of Mount Royal University decided not to renew their contract after discovering it would need to spend between $20,000 and $25,000 on renovations to keep up with Canada Post’s re-branding strategy.
“It’s bittersweet,” said Lisa Antichow, who managed the outlet along with Copywrite. “It’s sad because it did provide a good service for students, but on the other side there’s dealing with Canada Post, which can be a bit challenging at times.”
The renovation was for new signage and a new counter, which Antichow said is part of Canada Post’s efforts to change their image. She said all retail franchises are required to do the renovations at their own expense when their contract comes up for renewal.
Meghan Melnyk, students’ association president, said part of the reason the bill was so high was that Canada Post would only authorize approved contractors, who charge an estimated 18 per cent more than the student associations’ regular contractors.
“We don’t make any money from Canada Post,” Melnyk said, “but between renovations, staffing hour requirements, the materials that we have to have stocked, it just wasn’t meeting the needs of students.”
Antichow said the students’ association approached Canada Post to see if they could find a solution to reduce renovation costs. However, Canada Post was unwilling or unable to compromise.
“We tried to talk to them and say ‘our counter is still good, can we maybe be an exception and keep what we have?’ But they said no. They said, ‘It’s this or no contract.’”
When asked why the cost was so high and why no compromise could be reached, Canada Post spokeswoman Anick Losier said they go through an exhaustive process to ensure they get the best value for their dealers, and Canada Post has pre-existing agreements with suppliers they adhere to in order to meet specifications and branding requirements.
So Mount Royal’s post office is no more, but fortunately there are alternatives nearby – there is a postal outlet in the 7-11 just down the block on 37th Street that is able to process student loan applications.
Melnyk said the vacant space could expand Copywrite’s used textbook section, put in an eco store or comics and collectibles shop.