The nation’s largest postal firm is tapping further into the “stay-at-home economy,” Chunghwa Post chairman Philip Ong (翁文祺) said yesterday, adding that the company would cease retail sales of a majority of its third-party products at post offices by the end of this year.
Ong made the comments at a ceremony marking the nation’s Postal Day and the company’s 118th anniversary.
Ong said the company would expand its online shopping businesses for stay-at-home customers by integrating all the resources it has, including cash and information flow, 1,300 post offices and its logistics network.
“To distinguish ourselves from online shopping sites like Yahoo and PC Home, we are focusing on the online sale of Taiwan’s creative cultural goods as well as its agricultural products, which usually lack channels for marketing and do not come in large quantities,” he said.
Ong said Chunghwa Post would help promote the Taiwanese products to the world via the company’s Post Mall, which would be linked to shopping sites of postal firms in China and Japan.
Ong also commented on the possibility of Chunghwa Post merging with government-funded financial institutions.
“Chunghwa Post offers services in 319 towns nationwide, including some on outlying islands. They provide people with postal, savings account and life insurance services. The safety net created by Chunghwa Post simply cannot be replicated by other profit-oriented financial institutions,” he said. “The social services provided by Chunghwa Post are more important than the profits it generates.”
“We have about 9,000 mail carriers who accomplish their tasks daily, rain or shine,” Ong said. “Some of them even volunteer to take care of elderly people who live alone.”
“The value of these services cannot be conveyed through balance sheets,” he added.
Ong said the postal company was never founded to make a profit.
The company may have lost money through its delivery service, but the losses can be thought of as advertising expenditure for Chunghwa Post, he said.
Lee Kan-hsiang (李甘祥), director of Chunghwa Post’s department of mail business and operations, said the company hoped that customers would start buying products through the company’s shopping Web site instead.
Lee said that the company gained about NT$2 billion (US$65.2 million) through the retail sale of third-party products.
Lee said that half of Chunghwa Post’s revenue was earned through the sale of third-party goods, such as skincare products.