Impact of Post Office on small businesses

Impact of Post Office on small businesses

This year has seen a growth of market place sellers and small businesses – many of them relying on Post Offices to help them operate and trade locally, across the UK and even with the World. 

These businesses use Post Office for banking and mails services and latest research by Public First, commissioned by Post Office, shows their visit to the Post Office also benefits other nearby local businesses. 

Launched today, the report highlights the economic and social impact of Post Office on small business and features two Postmasters from our Midlands and Scotland region sharing their own experiences of their branch.

What are the findings? 

  • Visits to the Post Office help drive another 400 million visitors to other shops, restaurants and local businesses.
  • 33% of respondents said that on their last trip to the Post Office they had stopped at another shop, cafe, pub or restaurant, driving an estimated £1.1 billion in additional revenue.
  • 43% of small businesses say they would not be able to continue functioning without the Post Office.
  • 82 per cent of the public see their local Post Office as an essential service, with young people valuing it almost as much as older people.

 

Small communities depend on their local Post Offices and Postmasters Sunil Ghai at Moseley, Midlands region and Waheeda Akram at Stockbridge, Scotland region share their views in the report.

A summary is below and you can read the full report here.

The report has been shared with various stakeholders with an interest in Post Office including MPs, media and policymakers to demonstrate how Post Office and Postmasters support small businesses and the local community. We will also share this on Post Office social media channels. 

Sunil Ghai Waheeda Akram Nick Read, CEO Post Office

Excellent and personal customer service is at the heart of his business. Since lockdown began, Moseley has seen a surge in mail passing through its office, with the number of parcels more than doubling over the year before. Sunil explains that there has been a noticeable increase in the number of people using the Post Office to send parcels for online marketplaces, or to send care packages to friends and family across the country.

Sunil doesn’t deny there have been real challenges over the last 20 years, and there will be more as Moseley recovers from the Covid crisis, but in his view: ‘If you give the customer a personal service, and try and bend over backwards, you find that leads to four or five more coming into the office.’

Stockbridge Post Office is relied on by a huge range of local small businesses to send crucial deliveries, whether it be children's shoes and clothes, or garden furniture imported from Mexico. ‘They called us their lockdown heroes. Because they said if we hadn’t been here to send their parcels, they would have gone out of business,’ said Waheeda.

Drop and Go is one of the most used services. Its use has only increased during the Covid-19 crisis as businesses shift more of their sales to online, and local residents looking to earn a bit of extra money on eBay or Depop. The total number of parcels sent from Waheeda’s Post Office increased by over 80% during the start of lockdown (April to August 2020), compared to the same months in 2019.

“Local post offices are a lifeline for communities across the UK as they are the place to go to do everyday banking or send parcels. We are an essential retailer and will remain open wherever possible during these recently introduced lockdown restrictions.

The footfall we generate could make a big difference to sustaining high streets over the long term and helping small businesses start and grow, contributing to economic recovery across the UK.”

 

What the Post Office means