Mark Griffiths from Broughton Post Office, Chester, in our North West and North Wales region, is one of the countless Postmasters across the UK who has responded to the coronavirus outbreak by offering a home delivery service.
Mark, who has run Broughton branch for five years, was one of the Postmasters we recently featured on One who posted on Facebook to let customers know that he was starting a home delivery service. Now, with the UK in lockdown and more vulnerable local customers unable to go out and others self-isolating, we catch up with Mark about how the home delivery service in Broughton has really taken off.
What gave you the idea to start running home deliveries?
An elderly lady came into the store at the start of the outbreak who usually visits every day. I hadn’t seen her in a while, so asked if everything was ok and she broke down explaining that her husband had a lung condition and that if he caught the virus it would kill him. She was so scared to leave the house in case she carried the virus home to him. But had no choice on this day because she ran out of essentials.
How is coronavirus affecting your business and have you seen fewer regular customers coming in?
Quite the opposite. We have a retail arm in our branch and that has nearly doubled in customer numbers daily. We have put social distancing measures in both retail and the Post Office.
Since you posted on Facebook, what has the uptake been like for home deliveries? Massive, we are now currently delivering to between 30-35 houses per day. We asked people to make sure they told elderly friends and neighbours who aren’t on Facebook and this has very much helped to spread the word.
Have you had to put in extra measures to deliver to customers who are self-isolating?
Yes, we ask on the phone if they self-isolating. If they are, we take a payment over the phone for the goods via card. We staple the receipt to the bag. Drop the bag on the door step then knock. We then move well away from the front door and wait until the shopping has been collected then leave.
What kind of positive feedback have you received about the home delivery service?
Our local paper wrote an article about us a couple of weeks ago. And Facebook responses are all positive.
If you’re offering home deliveries or any other special services for customers during the Coronavirus outbreak, then we’d like to hear from you – please let us know what you’re doing in your community by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or commenting below.