Post Office confirms plans to find more retail partners for directly managed branches
Post Office has today (10 January) confirmed that it would be seeking partners for 37 of its directly managed branches – and this is in addition to the 93 branches previously announced over the past year. Post Office added that “nearly half” of those 93 branches “have now successfully relocated into retail stores”.
In a statement issued by Post Office today, Roger Gale, Sales and Trade Marketing Director, said: “We’re committed to maintaining the Post Office’s special place on the high street and the changes we are making underpin our continued commitment to give communities in every part of the country access to essential services.
“The Post Office’s network of more than 11,600 branches is easily the largest in the UK, with 17 million customer visits a week. The vast majority of these branches are run with partners, and in the locations announced today we believe this will also be a more sustainable approach for the long term. With consumer habits changing, and the high cost of maintaining premises in prime high street locations, franchising helps us to keep services where our customers want and need them.
“We will take time to identify the right partners over the coming months and all proposals will be subject to local consultation.
“Post Office has a strong record of supporting people through change and we will be keeping affected staff fully informed as we develop our plans.”
Click here to see more details about the 37 branches.
The transition to using more retail partners will bring a reduction in the number of directly-employed Post Office staff – and today’s announcement has not been welcomed by the union Unite.
In a statement sent to Post&Parcel today, Unite “branded another 139 redundancies together with the intention to franchise a further 37 Crown Post Offices as ‘another nail in the coffin’”.
Unite officer for the Post Office Brian Scott said: “What we have been saying for some time now is coming to pass – salami slicing of a much respected and valued national institution in pursuit of profit. The public will suffer as services are continually and systematically eroded.
“The Post Office announcement also includes the removal of financial service sales from the high street and for them to go online. This is a move away from its previous strategy of engaging face-to-face with customers.