Beverage and Food Service Inside USPS Retail Facility

November 28, 2007 by
Filed under: fedbizopp, post offices, usps 

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is seeking information and interest for a company to provide non-alcoholic beverage and/or limited food service in an experimental retail arrangement within a newly designed, customer-friendly full-service postal retail outlet.     The Postal Service wishes to create an environment that provides customers, including many small businesses, convenient access to a variety of business-related retail services co-located within the postal retail outlet.

This postal retail facility provides a contemporary USPS environment featuring; a staffed sales area with attractive merchandising and open service counters, self-service checkouts, AV furnished conference room and lounge area.     The interior retail space uses non-traditional colors, finishes, signage and casework and has a much more contemporary feel compared to traditional Post Offices.     The Postal Service provides shared-use areas and internet access over a dedicated wi-fi internet connection within certain parts of the building as well as 24-hour Post Office box and self-service area.

The Postal Service has dedicated space within this newly renovated retail outlet for sublease to multiple vendors who will provide complementary services to postal retail customers, many of which are small businesses, home-based businesses, or business travelers.     The postal outlet is a leased facility located in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg near the metro area’s largest shopping mall.

Purpose

USPS is interested in exploring an environment that provides our customers convenient access to a variety of business and related retail services co-located within a postal retail facility.     The future design of new, or the conversion of older, Postal retail offices may be an outcome of tests conducted at this facility.

Opportunity

The USPS is seeking a better understanding of the interest and capabilities of recognized national, regional, or locally owned beverage and/or food service providers to complement this experimental small business focused retail outlet.
       
             
Location and Hours

Chicago, IL Metro Area
United States Postal Service
Woodfield Station
651 Mall Drive
Schaumburg, IL 60173-5911
Hours of Postal Operation (open to the public)
Monday – Friday:     9:00 AM – 7:00 PM except for Federal Holidays
Saturday:     9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

It is anticipated that beverage/food service hours will match hours of operation.       

Duration

The lease at this Postal retail facility will be for a period of one year.     The USPS seeks potential providers who can participate in the first year of the test and consider the possibility of extending their participation for a longer term. Extensions, if any, will be negotiated at a later date.

United States Postal Service Provisions

The USPS will provide non-exclusive use of retail space to a non-alcoholic beverage and/or food service provider whose main business fits into the above referenced areas of concentration. A negotiated lease arrangement for the first year with the USPS will be required prior to build-out activities.     The term is for one year with a possible second year after which both parties may, at their choosing, negotiate a new lease arrangement for a specified term and cost.     The USPS will provide facility access for additional hours than those noted above (consensus of USPS and vendor) to allow for stocking/service of vendor space.

The USPS will provide approximately 330 square feet of dedicated retail space at the facility for non-alcoholic beverage and/or food services.     This space adjoins the Postal retail lobby.     The USPS may entertain discussion on sharing the cost of building out the beverage/food service space.

The USPS will provide access to common sanitary restroom facilities, ambient lighting, power, and telecommunication services for the vendor?s on site employees; however the vendor will reimburse the USPS for costs incurred in accommodating any specialized setup at the vendor location.     The USPS contemplates offering free third party wireless fidelity internet connection service (Wi-Fi Certified) for use by consumers during the test term. The USPS will also provide for building maintenance, utilities and centralized trash removal.

The USPS will allow a company to utilize branding, logos, intellectual property icons or color schematics at the location with USPS approval providing that items are contained inside the leased space.     At this time, the USPS does not contemplate having external retail signage that conflicts with the look and feel of the Postal Service retail location, however, it remains open to suggestions and information on how external signage could be complimentary to our present look and feel.

The USPS does not seek any share of revenues for services provided or products sold during the lease term.

Items USPS Will Not Support

The USPS will not provide site security on behalf of an interested organization. However, the USPS does maintain its own security.

The USPS will not supply furniture; casework, fixtures or operational equipment for beverage/food vendor nor will it fund equipment installation.

The USPS will not provide Postal staff to operate beverage/food service.    

The USPS will not supply daily maintenance and housekeeping for vendor areas.

The USPS will not supply an internet service provider for vendor.

see full notice

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I wonder how this solicitation complies with the Randolph-Sheppard Act, which gives preference to blind venders in federal and USPS facilities?  The USPS is required to go through the state agencies for the blind.
 
“Vending facility” means automatic vending machines, cafeterias, snack bars, cart service, shelters, counters, and such other appropriate auxiliary equipment which may be operated by blind licensees and which is necessary for the sale of newspapers, periodicals, confections, tobacco products, foods, beverages, and other articles or services dispensed automatically or manually and prepared on or off the premises in accordance with all applicable health laws, and including the vending or exchange of changes for any lottery authorized by State law and conducted by an agency of a State within such State.”
Code of Federal Regulations, 34 CFR 395.1x
 
After reviewing all of the records and hearing testimony of witnesses, the panel concluded that the Act requires Federal agencies to give priority to blind vendors in the operation of vending facilities on Federal properties. To accomplish this, Federal agencies and SLAs enter into permit agreements authorizing the operation of vending facilities by licensed blind vendors. However, the panel noted that the Act does not authorize Federal agencies to collect commissions from a blind vendor or the SLA without the authorization of the Secretary of Education. Moreover, Federal agencies are not permitted to go outside the Department of Education’s regulations and substitute a negotiated vending agreement in place of the permit system.
–Arizona Department of Economic Security, Rehabilitation Services Division v. United States Postal Service (June 17, 2005)
  
http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20051800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2005/05-20929.htm
 
Don Cheney
Auburn, WA
 

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