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Post Office becomes UK’s largest retail network open on Sundays

Press release   •   Jun 06, 2016 00:01 BST

The Post Office has become the largest UK retailer open on a Sunday, with 3,800 branches now open seven days a week.

Over the last three years the Post Office has been transforming its network in the biggest modernisation programme in UK retail history. More than 6,000 branches have now been modernised, with thousands offering longer opening hours. In total, the transformation programme has delivered an extra 195,000 opening hours a week, the equivalent of 10 million extra hours a year or 4,000 Post Office branches trading for standard hours.

Post Office research shows that almost third of people (31 per cent) are more likely to use their Post Office branch if it is open on Sundays, with this figure rising to 38 per cent for those aged between 35 and 44. With almost one in five (18 per cent) people saying they do most of their shopping on a Sunday, providing easy access to Post Office services, from cash withdrawals to online shopping and collections and returns, is now a key part of the Post Office offer.

Post Office branches offering a Sunday service vary from those in town and city centres to others in villages and rural areas. But all of them aim to ensure people in their communities have easy and convenient access to Post Office services when and where they need them.

Kevin Gilliland, Post Office Network and Sales Director, said: “I’m delighted that millions of people across the UK can now access Post Office services seven days a week. We are building a secure financial footing to maintain our services at the heart of communities for the future.

“Our modernisation plan is all about getting better for customers and making sure that branches across the country offer opening hours to meet their customers’ needs, with Sunday opening increasing rapidly across our network.”

One of the 3,800 branches open on Sundays is Ide Hill in Kent. It is also one of over 200 Post Office branches which not only lies at the heart of its community, but which is run by its community too. When the previous postmaster retired the villagers came together to fund their own community shop, from where they could also operate the Post Office.

Postmistress Liz Denbigh, from Ide Hill Shop and Post Office, said: “The shop and Post Office is a real lifeline for the community, it’s more than just a shop it’s also a meeting place for local residents. Sunday is a busy time for us, as people pop in to get items for their Sunday lunch or to have a cup of coffee and a chat, so it makes sense to offer access to Post Office services too.”

Branches open on Sundays across the UK include Penny Black, an award-winning shop, Post Office and speciality drinks café in the heart of the vibrant West End of Glasgow. It provides a unique offering combining the convenience of high quality Post Office services from a modern, stylised branch with interesting, often locally-sourced food, drink, cards and gifts.

Ryan Marwaha of Penny Black said: "Ensuring we meet the needs of our diverse customer base – local residents, students, tourists and people working in the area alike - has proven successful in driving increased footfall and spend. Longer business hours before 9am and after 5pm as well as Sunday opening has been a key factor here. The three elements of our business, the shop, café and Post Office support and rely on one another. People can collect and return online shopping, withdraw cash, buy, write and post cards and gifts whilst having a coffee or lunch. Sunday opening in particular has proven to us that our customers’ rely on having a Post Office at the heart of our community."

Growth in Post Office Sunday Opening:

The Post Office is the UK’s biggest retail network, with over 11,500 branches across the UK. Since the modernisation programme began there has been a steady increase in the number of branches opening on Sundays, as follows:

Dec 13 – 1,000 branches

Dec 14 – 2,300 branches

Dec 15 – 3,300 branches

May 16 – 3,800 branches

Post Office branches are now open earlier and later than people might expect as well as and on Sundays too. Visit www.postoffice.co.uk/branch-finder to find details of Post Office branches open on Sundays as well as the services available from local Post Office branches.

Notes to editors:

Issued by Post Office Press Office

Tel: 0207 012 3456

Email: pressoffice@postoffice.co.uk

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 11,500 branches, the Post Office network is the biggest retail network in the UK, with more branches than all the banks and building societies combined.

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 11,500 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.