UK Post Office: Our cash and banking offer performed very strongly
UK Post Office today reports its key trading figures for the peak Christmas period from 29 November to 26 December 2021.
Because the Covid-19 restrictions in 2020 created exceptional demand for mails and parcels services, as people could not meet in person and sent cards and presents by post instead, the organisation has included comparisons with the pre-pandemic 2019 period where appropriate.
In 2021, the pandemic continued to contribute to a challenging retail environment and reduced footfall on Britain’s High Streets. However, Post Office’s performance was resilient. There were 50.5 million customer transactions during the four-week period, down just 1.7% on the same period in 2019, before the pandemic, and down only 1.5% on 2020.
Total network income* for the four-week period was £73.8m. Compared with the same period in 2019, before the pandemic, this was an increase of 15%. Compared with the exceptional 2020 period it was a 5% fall.
- The week beginning Monday 13 December was our busiest week of the year, with 14.6m customer transactions. On Christmas Day itself, 65,000 transactions took place at Post Offices that were open, typically in convenience stores.
- Network availability was as its highest level since before the pandemic, with 11,596 branches trading in December, almost 100 branches over our 11,500 requirement.
- Over 3,100 Post Offices offered ‘Click and Collect’ services for DPD and Amazon for the first time. Around 70% of parcels were collected within one day of arriving at a Post Office branch.
- Post Office launched new charity partnership with Trussell Trust, the charity that works to end the need for food banks in the UK, on 30 November, donating 1p from every over-the-counter cash withdrawal at branches and hoping to raise £250,000 for the charity. Post Office made excellent progress in reaching this target over the period.
Commenting on Christmas trading, Post Office Chief Executive, Nick Read, said: “Whilst the parcel market remains highly competitive and challenging, Post Offices have delivered a resilient performance in the face of Covid-19 restrictions, dramatic falls in footfall on our High Streets and general uncertainty about the cost of living. It’s a testament to the determination and hard work of Postmasters that so many remained open, providing essential services to their community, with well over 11,500 branches trading.
“Our cash and banking offer performed very strongly, ensuring people could withdraw cash to spend locally on hospitality and gifts, and small businesses had somewhere open to deposit their takings. Our travel business goes from strength to strength and the recent relaxation in travel testing rules provides us with further opportunities to benefit commercially over the coming months. This year we will also expand our ‘Click and Collect’ services from 3,100 branches to over 6,000.”