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Post Office ramps up for Christmas by offering over 500,000 extra opening hours throughout the festive period

Press Release   •   Dec 10, 2015 00:01 GMT

  • Post Office ramps up for Christmas by offering over 500,000 extra opening hours throughout the festive period
  • A whopping 3,000 branches will be open on Sundays
  • Over 500 Self Service Kiosks now offer easy access for customers returning online shopping via Royal Mail services
  • A ‘cavalry’ of over 600 extra ‘Christmas Makers’ set to work in branch to support over the festive period
  • Post Office expecting busiest year ever for festive returns
  • Over two thirds of shoppers predicted to return unwanted items

Following record sales over the Black Friday weekend, the Post Office is braced for its busiest festive season ever for handling online shopping returns, with 72 per cent of online shoppers saying the Post Office is their preferred route for returns1. Over 75 per cent of people confirm that online shopping has caused them to change the way they shop, with just under half of shoppers (43 per cent) admitting they buy more online than they ever would in store.

This weekend will be busiest for pre-Christmas returns, leading the Post Office to dub it ‘Send-back Saturday’ (12th December) as two thirds of shoppers are predicted to return unwanted items. Throughout the UK, over £160m of Black Friday stock is expected to be sent back during the Christmas period2.

As it faces one of its busiest weeks of the year, Post Office has boosted its resources with an extra 600 ‘Christmas Makers’ to help its customers get Christmas sorted. In addition more than 500 Self Service Kiosks at Post Office branches, which already offered access to a wide range of Royal Mail services, now have the facility for people to return home shopping items, including Royal Mail Tracked Returns, without the need to visit the Post Office counter.

Additionally, a whopping 3,000 branches will be open on Sundays. The Post Office’s commitment to longer opening hours will result in branches around the UK opening for an extra 500,000 more hours this festive season, ensuring people will have access to a Post Office when it is convenient for them. With Post Offices opening for longer than ever before, some even open 24 hours a day, it will now be easier for customers to visit and get their Christmas errands sorted.

Pete Markey, Chief Marketing Officer, Post Office, comments: ‘We are ready for the busy festive period and expecting our busiest Christmas season ever for online shopping returns. Shoppers spent a huge £3.3bn over the Black Friday weekend – a 36 per cent increase on last year3. And, as 72 per cent of online shoppers prefer to return via the Post Office, it is vital for us to ramp up resources not just for returns but also other in-branch services to help get Christmas sorted.”

With over 11,500 branches, the Post Office network is the biggest retail network in the UK, with more branches than all the banks and building societies combined. Around 5,000 branches have already been transformed through the Post offices modernisation process, with a further 3,000 set to be modernised in the coming years. The Post Office at Christmas is not just about posting cards and gifts. The extensive retail offering means branches serving communities across the UK offer everything from Christmas trees to turkeys.

Visit www.postoffice.co.uk/Christmas to find out what the Post Office has to offer this Christmas.

1 According to research by Hall & Partners for Royal Mail Delivery Matters – Returns Special report, December 2014.

2 According to a report by Clear Returns

3 According to data company Experian and trade group IMRG UK shoppers

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Issued by: Post Office Press Office

Tel: 020 3077 2000

Email: postoffice2@eulogy.co.uk

About Post Office:

With over 11,500 branches, the Post Office network is the biggest retail network in the UK, with more branches than all the banks and building societies combined. The Post Office provides services central to peoples’ everyday lives; 99.7% of the population lives within 3 miles of a Post Office - 17m customers visit a Post Office branch each week, including a third of the UK’s small businesses.

We offer the UK’s largest fee free cash withdrawal network through our 11,500 branches and an additional 2,500 cash machines and 99 per cent of UK bank customers can access their accounts at the Post Office.

We sell 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.

Post Offices branches remain highly valued and trusted, and are the focal point of many communities. For more information, visit www.postoffice.co.uk and to find out about a Post Office business opportunities visit www.runapostoffice.co.uk

About the Post Office

The Post Office (Post Office Limited) has an unrivalled national network of over 11,500 branches across the UK, more than all the high street banks combined, and sits at the heart of communities in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. The Post Office has made a commitment to maintaining its network of branches at its current size and reach. It provides around 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.

The Post Office serves over 17 million customers a week and a third of small businesses. Some 99.7% of the total population live within three miles of a post office and over 97% live with one mile of a post office. For many rural communities, the post office is the only retail outlet. Post Offices branches remain highly valued and trusted, and are the focal point of many communities. For more information, visit http://www.postoffice.co.uk/.

Please note the Press Office team can only deal with enquiries from the media.  Unfortunately they do not have access to customer information so can not help with customer enquiries.

If you have an enquiry regarding any Post Office product or service please visit postoffice.co.uk or call 0845 611 2970 Local call rates apply. Call costs may vary depending on your service provider. Calls may be monitored or recorded for training and compliance purposes.