Grand Designs

Grand Designs

Last June Austria Post won the Retail Project award at the World Mail Awards, recognised for their use of new technology and well thought through logistics to provide improved convenience and accessibility for customers, together with increased revenues and profits. Post & Parcel spoke to Walter Hitziger, management board member of Austria Post, to find out more about their prize-winning initiative and what the award meant to the company. Can you describe the project the company was recognised for in this award?

We were recognised for the redesign of our Austrian Post stores. The main aim of our redesign project was to create a flexible store design which adapts to all existing stores. This design had to be clear in order to support the customer. Furthermore, our new queuing system needed to promote product awareness for impulse purchases.

How did the project progress?

The first new concept Austrian Post store opened in April 2012, and the design has rolled out to 179 branches so far. These stores are an extensive redevelopment of the outlet concept, and give the customer a totally new shopping and service experience.

A reorganisation of the space, an overhaul of the queuing, retail and counter system, and a revision of existing in-store navigation and merchandising has refreshed the estate in line with Austrian Post’s future-orientated network expansion strategy. The layout is divided into four areas – gifting, shipping, entertainment, and paper and stationery, and also incorporates an innovative queue management system. Generous telecommunications zones and philately areas have been integrated, and a self-service zone with customer-friendly technology enables customers to easily handle postal and banking transactions 24 hours a day.

 

What did winning the award mean to the business?

The project, and the team who made it happen, gained global visibility and the award confirmed that we had done a good job. I was really proud of everyone who contributed to it and how hard they worked.

 

Since winning the award how has the project developed?

We will continue on our path with even more passion towards a complete overhaul of our branch design.

 

Why do you think it is important for Triangle to run these awards?

 

Events like these bring people and ideas together. Triangle fulfils an important role in the global exchange of ideas and innovation.

 

Did the award lead to any new business opportunities?

 

We wanted to present our achievements on a wider platform than just on a domestic one. The main benefit we see from being winning the award was access to a larger network of international cooperation and exchange within the postal sector. Other postal operators have shown great interest in our new design, they come and visit our new branches on a regular basis. We are now being recognised as an innovative company on the international stage.

 

Why would you recommend that others put their company forward for the World Mail Awards 2014?

 

Any award provides the opportunity to challenge your own ideas against best practices from around the world.

 

Nominations for the awards will be open until the 28th February. To enter the awards  visit the World Mail Awards website – www.mailawards.com

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