Post Office today shared further plans to work with partners on the provision of its services in communities around the UK.
Building on announcements earlier this year, the Post Office is seeking to replace or relocate directly-run Crown branches in 20 locations. In these areas, the Post Office will advertise for suitable potential franchise partners and local businesses that have the potential to open new branches in the area.
The plans are in addition to those shared in January to franchise 39 branches, some of which will be relocated to WHSmith stores as part of a new ten-year agreement reached with the retailer in April.This agreement covers up to 61 relocations into stores by the end of the year, with just over half expected to be concession arrangements still run directly by the Post Office.
Roger Gale, General Manager of the Post Office Crown Network, said:
“Some Crown branches are continuing to grow profitably but others cannot do so due factors such rising rents, changing town centres or other local circumstances. We need to adapt our approach so we can secure access to our services in these areas for the long term.
“By working with partners to locate Post Office branches with other retail businesses we can keep branches at the heart of communities, providing services for our customers cost-effectively and often with the benefit of longer opening hours.
Most of the Post Office’s network of 11,500 branches are already run on a franchise or agency basis with retailers.
The changes to the Crown branch network are part of a major modernisation programme that is transforming every part of the Post Office.Across its wider network, the company has modernised over 6,300 branches and brought unprecedented ease of access to its services for customers. The Post Office is now the largest retailer open on a Sunday, with 3,800 branches open seven days a week.
All proposals are subject to local public consultations.
The 20 Crown branches are:
Kingsland High Street
St Leonards on Sea
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/.
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