- 7000 modernised retail outlets now offer over one million extra opening hours a month
- 1700 new businesses join Post Office’s ranks, and benefit from an average ten per cent increase in retail sales
- Customer queue times down to just over a minute
Post Office Group Chief Executive Paula Vennells visited Wheatley Post Office in Oxfordshire to mark a key milestone in a multi-million pound investment programme lasting five years. Wheatley Post Office is the 7000th branch to be transformed in the programme which is securing Post Office services at the heart of communities and high streets for future generations.
Since it commenced over four years ago the Post Office’s Network Transformation programme has continued at pace, at its peak modernising 10 branches a day. Over 1700 new retailers have joined the thousands of other small businesses which operate a Post Office branch alongside their retail business.
Through working closely with retailers in villages, towns and cities across the UK Post Office branches are now open for an additional one million hours a month. Waiting times for customers in these new branches are on average one minute and ten seconds, customer satisfaction stands at 94 per cent and retailers are recording an average 11 per cent increase in retail sales.
Paula Vennells said:
“The Post Office network is made up of thousands of small businesses that are vital to the health of their local economy. High street retail is a challenging sector, and our partnerships don’t just help to secure Post Office services to communities everywhere, they support these businesses and others around them to become more sustainable and to thrive.
“We’re proud to be investing alongside small businesses and our partner retailers to ensure that postal services, banking and other essential services remain accessible to all – and building our collective reputation for great customer focus and service.”
The Post Office recently announced a new industry wide agreement with UK banks which allows 99 per cent of UK personal bank customers and over 75 per cent of business customers to do their day to day banking at any of the Post Office’s 11,600 branches.
Business Minister Margot James said:
“Millions of consumers and small businesses rely on their local post office branch for vital services. I’m delighted that through the government-funded transformation programme, customers are seeing improved and more efficient access to services, while at the same time the small businesses which run these branches are benefitting from increased footfall and revenue.”
Neil MacCormack has been postmaster of Wheatley Post Office for 30 years, recently moving the branch into new larger premises in a more central location in the village. The move has allowed him to significantly extend the opening hours for customers visiting both the post office and shop, as well as the items on sale there.
Mr MacCormack said:
“We’ve had great feedback to the new branch from the local community. As well as a dedicated Post Office counter area we have a much larger retail space which has allowed us to significantly extend our retail offer. The nearest bank is over four miles away and the community relies on us for access to day to day banking services. Our wide range of mail services meet the needs of local businesses sending products and samples, as well as online shoppers wanting a convenient place to collect and return online shopping.”
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Notes to Editors:
In 2012 we announced an investment of £1.34bn for the Post Office network to undertake a transformation programme across 6000 branches. In November 2013 the Government announced a further £640m investment in the Post Office network: as well as allowing us to modernise a further 2000 branches this funding also allows us to invest £20 million in around 3400 community branches, which are often the last shop in the village.
With over 11,600 branches, the Post Office network is the biggest retail network in the UK, with more branches than all the banks and building societies combined.
97% of Post Office branches are run with retail partners on an agency or franchise basis
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 11,600 branches and an additional 2,500 cash machines.
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
Post Office Limited has an unrivalled national network of over 11,600 branches across the UK, more than all the high street banks combined, and sits at the heart of many communities across the country.
It provides around 170 different services and products spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards. Post Office also offers Government services, telephony, foreign currency, travel insurance and mail services.
99.7% of people live within three miles of their nearest Post Office outlet. For many rural communities the Post Office is the only retail outlet. Post Offices remain highly valued and trusted and are the focal point for many communities. For more information, visit www.postoffice.co.uk.