Expectations formed in the world of online shopping turned into reality or disappointment at the outlet of Posti in Töölö on Tuesday.
“I drop by the post office every once in a while, when I've bought stuff online,” software developer Tuomas Mäkelä said.
“I bought a phone online, and it was delivered here. Otherwise, I maybe use the post office once a year,” said Miisa Nissinen, a clothes shop assistant.
“I drop by the post office maybe once a month,” estimated camera shop clerk Antti Kess. “I buy clothes and all kinds of stuff online.”
Kess, Mäkelä and Nissinen all said that they do not mind if they have to pick up their online purchases from a service point operated by a partner company instead of a dedicated postal outlet in the future. Luckily so, for the days of their local postal outlet are numbered.
Posti will continue to operate the following outlets:
00100 Helsinki (Main Post Office)
00120 Helsinki (Annankatu)
00130 Helsinki (Kasarmitori)
00510 Helsinki (Vallila)
00530 Helsinki (Hakaniemi)
00880 Helsinki (Herttoniemi industrial area)
01300 Vantaa (Tikkurila)
02100 Espoo (Tapiola)
15100 Lahti (Saksalankatu)
20100 Turku (Eerikinkatu)
28100 Pori (Yrjönkatu)
33100 Tampere (Rautatienkatu)
40100 Jyväskylä (Vapaudenkatu)
45100 Kouvola (Kauppamiehenkatu)
50100 Mikkeli (Raatihuoneenkatu)
53100 Lappeenranta (Kauppakatu)
65100 Vaasa (Hovioikeudenpuistikko)
70100 Kuopio (Kauppakatu)
90100 Oulu (Hallituskatu)
96100 Rovaniemi (Koskikatu)
96930 Arctic Circle (Santa Claus' Main Post Office)
Posti confirmed after wrapping up its consultative negotiations on Tuesday that 77 of the 98 postal outlets it currently operates will be shut down and the services transferred to partner companies by the end of 2018.
Jani Tikkanen, who has worked at the postal outlet in Töölö since February, believes customers may change their mind after the services have been transferred to partner companies. He estimates that regular shop assistants may struggle to master the nitty-gritty of the services Posti provides to its private and business customers.
“I've worked here for five months, and I still have to ask someone with more experience for advice every day. This work includes plenty of aspects that are difficult to handle on the side,” he argued.
Shipments abroad, Tikkanen reminded, must comply with a long list of rules and regulations. “You have to know how big and heavy a parcel can be. And how it's insured and what it can contain,” he lists.
The disappearance of outlets operated by Posti is hardly a new phenomenon as the service provider began to outsource its responsibilities to partner companies in smaller localities already in the early 1990s.
At present, postal services are provided by a total of 1,400 service points.
In this respect, Posti has followed in the footsteps of its counterparts in neighbouring countries. Posten, the postal service of Sweden, for example has already shut down all of its own service points.
Posti announced on Tuesday that in three years it will operate no more than six service points in Helsinki and one in both Espoo and Vantaa. It will continue to operate its Annankatu, Kasarmitori, Vallila, Hakaniemi, Herttoniemi and Postitalo outlets in Helsinki as well as its Tapiola and Tikkurila outlets in Espoo and Vantaa respectively.
The provider of postal services will lay off 319 staff members as a consequence of the closures.
“Of course it's unfortunate. That much I can say,” exclaimed a long-time employee of the outlet in Töölö, on the condition of anonymity.
The times are tough.
Lari Malmberg, Marju Järvinen – HS
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
© HELSINGIN SANOMAT
Photo: Laura Mendelin / HS