Article from Postal Technology Magazine http://goo.gl/CnwF0
Paula Vennells, CEO, Post Office Ltd: “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the Post Office”
Post Office Ltd has announced plans to transform about half of its network of 11,800 branches across the UK over the next three years as part of an overall £1.34 billion investment and support programme, subject to EU State Aid clearance. The investment will provide a more modern and convenient retail experience for customers while maintaining the UK Post Office network at its current size.
All branches across the network will benefit either directly or indirectly from the investment as Post Office Ltd continues to find new business and grow its income. The 5,500 branches, which will not become local or main branches, will retain their current operating model and will be supported by subsidy payments.
Paula Vennells, CEO, Post Office Ltd, said: “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the Post Office – a chance to revitalise the network and allow it to meet the needs of twenty-first century customers and communities. This major investment will help Post Office Ltd address changing customer needs by revitalising the network, with extended opening hours and a better experience for our customers.”
Between now and summer 2012, around 50 further new local and main branches will be piloted across the UK. New sites will complement current pilot branches and collectively help inform future rollout plans. Participation for existing operators is entirely voluntary.
In addition Post Office Ltd will continue to offer the new models, where appropriate, to either attract new operators to restore service to communities that have previously seen their branch close or as a solution to ongoing network changes.
Andrew Dash, a subpostmaster who is participating in the pilot programme, said, “When we were offered the chance to operate a new style Post Office branch, we jumped at the chance as we saw it as the perfect complement to our convenience store. It meant we could become a hub in the community. The customers love it. We have a bright, modern Post Office in a bustling convenience store and our business has grown since we reopened.”
Winning more Government business is a key part of the Post Office strategy, for example, the rollout of biometric data capture equipment to nearly 800 branches nationwide. This allows Post Office Ltd to compete for tenders to deliver assisted application and identity verification services. Growing the Post Office’s existing financial services business is another key strategic priority. The Post Office is expanding its range of value-for-money financial services products.