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Cinema chain turns to USPS to sell popcorn, snacks

Waukesha, WI, customer services supervisors Rolando Tuazon, rear, and Dale Maurice load a truck with goodies from Marcus Theatres.

A supervisor’s visit to a customer has led to $185,000 in new revenue for the Postal Service and has helped the business build a new source of income during the coronavirus pandemic.

Last month, Rolando Tuazon, customer services supervisor at the Waukesha, WI, Post Office, received a phone call from Marcus Theatres saying it had some packages that needed to be picked up.

After the letter carrier arrived at the company’s location, he called the Post Office and said he needed help.

Tuazon went to the location to assess the situation. He found that Marcus Theatres was mailing hundreds of packages.

The company’s cinemas in Wisconsin had been closed since March 24 when the state issued a stay-at-home order as a way to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The Milwaukee-based chain then decided to sell packages of popcorn and other treats to give their customers a “go to the movies” experience while confined at home and to provide itself a source of income while closed.

Tuazon and Postmaster Jeff Hansen spoke with company representatives, suggesting daily pickups and switching to Priority Mail, which would ensure the popcorn would arrive as fresh as possible.

“I explained the advantage of Priority Mail over Retail Ground,” said Tuazon. “Their packages now fly and move quicker. This will help generate a satisfied customer and continue customer sales for them.”

The services from USPS have proved valuable to the company, one of many businesses across the nation that are receiving help from the organization during the pandemic.

The Postal Service is also holding “Virtual Grow Your Business Day” events for small businesses and encouraging employees to find opportunities to assist companies that need special help with their shipping needs.

“Because of Priority Mail shipping getting the packages to the customer quickly, I don’t see this ending when we open the theaters again,” said Clint Wisialowski, Marcus Theatres’ sales vice president. “USPS has helped us create a whole new piece of business that will continue for the long haul.”