The humble postage stamp is being used as a pawn by An Post in a bid to force shop owners in the north west sell its suite of products, the Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association (CSNA) said today.
An Post’s subsidiary PostPoint, has told shop owners if they do not agree to install their mobile top up and bill pay terminals, and sell their products, they will not receive any commission on stamp sales, the CSNA said.
The CSNA represents in excess of 1,500 shops across the country that employ between 35,000 and 40,000 full and part-time workers.
Since taking over the scheme recently, the commission paid by PostPoint to shop owners has been slashed to 4% – a cut of 20%.
But many shops have already installed and sell similar products from PostPoint’s rivals such as Payzone.
“We believe that sales of the humble postage stamp should not be linked with having to install a terminal to sell other PostPoint products. This may mean some shops will no longer sell stamps rather than accede to such unreasonable demands,” said CSNA Chief Executive, Vincent Jennings.
He said few shops make a profit on stamp sales but recognise it as a valuable public service to customers as they do not have to queue in post offices. People who bought stamps in shops usually purchased other products too he added.
“What PostPoint is demanding amounts to anti-competitive and jackboot practices against our members and we will not be bullied or threatened,” said Mr. Jennings.
The CSNA is due to take a case on the issue to a full hearing in the High Court later this year, if the matter is not resolved satisfactorily.