On the beach
While we wait for the results of the Independent Achievers Academy awards, we take a closer look at some of the 12 retailers with a Post Office who are through to the finals.
Tenby Stores & Post Office is through to the finals of the Independent Achievers Academy (IAA awards) in two categories - Marketing to Customers and Staff Development.
Being a Postmaster and retailer in a tourist town, Postmaster Vince Malone has to market his store differently. One popular service this summer was delivering groceries to tourists staying at the holiday parks, local B&Bs and even day trippers to the beach, as well as to his regular customers.
Tenby’s population surges from 6,000 to 60,000 in the summer. Mr Malone does a range of marketing – leaflets delivered to homes and holiday accommodation, as well as social media, to reach his customers.
Beers delivered to the beach
The team posted on Facebook to tell customers they can deliver food and drink, even beers, to the beach, which went down very well! They also had a great reaction online to their decision to use glass milk bottles to reduce plastic waste, something they really believe in.
Mr Malone, said: “My wife, Fiona and I, really care about the environment. Living by the sea you see how much pollution is washed up on the beach, so we decided to do something by sourcing reusable glass milk bottles. Our beach delivery service also got lots of hits on social media, but traditional leaflets still work well for increasing sales.
“As we have so many newcomers to the store we also have to do face-to-face marketing to help people to find different groceries and items in the store and to make them aware of the wide range of products and services that the Post Office offers.
Keeping the holiday cash flowing
“People who live in Tenby, where three bank branches have closed in recent years, know that they can get cash withdrawals at the Post Office, and we offer banking services on behalf of all the major banks, but many tourists don’t know. There is also a real need for cash in the town as tourists want to buy ice creams and drinks and quite a few of the restaurants only accept cash.”
Looking after your people
There is a real emphasis on staff development, so that staff are fully aware of what is expected of them, meaningful appraisals take place and comments and feedback are welcomed.
Because of the growing amount of banking done at the branch, staff suggested buying a note counter, which has really speeded up the serving of customers making large deposits as it can quickly count and check for any fraudulent notes. So, listening to staff ideas and acting on them has benefitted customers and shown the team that their opinions count.
Mr Malone, said: “We have regular all-year-round staff and seasonal staff for the summer. Staff feel valued and we have good staff retention. We care about their welfare too. When we took over the store six years ago the first year it was so hot in the summer and cold in the winter, it was hideous. So we fitted air conditioning, which made it a much better place to work and for customers to visit all year.”
This combination of smart marketing with caring staff development has helped Tenby Post Office and store reach the finals of the Independent Achievers Academy (IAA).