July 17 2014 09:38 AM

Staples Inc. next month will end a pilot program that featured Postal Service counters staffed by Staples employees in 82 of the chain’s stores.

Instead, the office-supply retailer will be an approved shipper for the Postal Service. Under the new arrangement, the stores can also offer services for other mail providers, such as UPS and Fedex.

Framingham-based Staples and the Postal Service began their program in November. It allowed the chain to provide about 80 percent of the services offered by a post office but drew criticism from postal unions, which said it amounted to privatization of a basic government function. Read more!