UK Post Office : The footfall we generate could make a big difference to sustaining high streets
New research has revealed how important having a Post Office is to the survival of the UK’s High Streets.
The Public First research, commissioned by the Post Office, found that 33% of respondents said that on their last trip to the Post Office they had stopped at another shop, café, pub or restaurant. This resulted in an additional 400 million visitors to these local businesses, generating £1.1 billion in additional revenue.
The research showed that 82 % of the public see their local Post Office as an essential service, with young people valuing it almost as much as older people. Summing up just how important the local Post Office is, it came out as the top choice when respondents were asked what would make up their ideal High Street – far ahead of stalwarts like a supermarket or a GP’s surgery.
Small businesses also rely on their Post Office to keep their businesses functioning – with 43% of small businesses saying they would not survive without a local Post Office.
There are 11,500 branches across the UK with around 4,000 open seven days a week. ‘Bedroom’ businesses use their branch to drop off parcels to fulfil their customer orders and independent retailers depend on a branch to deposit a day’s takings. The Post Office has more branches than all the banks and building societies combined.
Nick Read, Chief Executive at the Post Office, said: “Local post offices are a lifeline for communities across the UK as they are the place to go to do everyday banking or send parcels. We are an essential retailer and will remain open wherever possible during these recently introduced lockdown restrictions. The footfall we generate could make a big difference to sustaining high streets over the long term and helping small businesses start and grow, contributing to economic recovery across the UK.”
Post Office enables small businesses to operate
The research found that:
- 60% of small businesses that Public First spoke to agreed that the Post Office is important to their business, and 72% that the Post Office is particularly important for small businesses.
- When small businesses were asked how long they would be able to function without the Post Office, 43% said they would only be able to keep going for a few months at most; and 32% only a few weeks.To put that into context, that is the equivalent to a fifth (22%) of the entire UK economy, or a quarter (26%) of jobs.
- 83% of small businesses agreed that the Post Office had been important to their business during the first lockdown period earlier this year.
The full findings can be read here