The announcement the Post Office is planning to close and franchise 37 Crown offices comes as no surprise, says the leading parcel broker Fastlane International. The rise of couriers who pick up from sender’s front door, eliminating the need to stand in a queue at the Post Office, means the 350 year old institution is facing extinction.
The Post Office claims the changes will help to keep branches where customers want them to be, but Fastlane International’s Head of Consumer Research says: ‘50% of Post Offices have closed since 1987. It’s not hard to see why. The rise of online parcel brokers, who can save over 60% on Post Office prices for shipping parcels in the UK and abroad, and do away with the notorious Post Office queue, means the Post Office will be as dead as the dodo by 2030.’
Says David: ‘The Post Office itself admits that consumer habits are changing, and there is a high cost to maintaining premises in prime high street locations, and says franchising will keep services where its customers want them. Those “changing consumer habits” are in fact the great switch to cheaper parcel courier services.’
David explains: ‘The larger Crown Post Offices are soulless, dreary, places; full of empty shelves and long queues. Now no one needs to tax their car or must buy their stamps there, there seems little reason why people would deliberately opt to continue the drudgery of queueing.’
Adds David: ‘Of course, the traditional village Post Office is far more welcoming and it would be nice to think it still has a significant role to play in the local community. It would be a shame were it to disappear entirely; but sadly, the realities of retail economics are against their continued survival; and a village store with a parcel pick up and locker service makes far more sense.’
Concludes David: ‘No one wants to see more job losses in the postal industry; but the truth is once people have tried a courier pick up service; they don’t go back.’