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Post Office offers Christmas lifeline to SMEs

The Post Office is ramping up for Christmas by offering over 500,000 extra opening hours throughout the festive period, including 3,000 branches opening on Sundays.

Following record sales over the Black Friday weekend, the Post Office is braced for its busiest festive season ever for handling online shopping returns, with 72% of online shoppers saying that the Post Office is their preferred route for returns¹. Over 75 % of people confirm that online shopping has caused them to change the way they shop, with just under half of shoppers (43%) admitting they buy more online than they ever would in store.

This weekend will be busiest for pre-Christmas returns, leading the Post Office to dub it ‘Send-back Saturday’ (12th December) as two-thirds of shoppers are predicted to return unwanted items. Throughout the UK, over £160m of Black Friday stock is expected to be sent back during the Christmas period².

As it faces one of its busiest weeks of the year, Post Office has boosted its resources with an extra 600 ‘Christmas Makers’ to help its customers get Christmas sorted. In addition more than 500 Self Service Kiosks at Post Office branches, which already offered access to a wide range of Royal Mail services, now have the facility for people to return home shopping items, including Royal Mail Tracked Returns, without the need to visit the Post Office counter.

Additionally, a whopping 3,000 branches will be open on Sundays. The Post Office’s commitment to longer opening hours will result in branches around the UK opening for an extra 500,000 more hours this festive season, ensuring people will have access to a Post Office when it is convenient for them. With Post Offices opening for longer than ever before – with some even open 24 hours a day – it will now be easier for customers to visit and get their Christmas errands sorted.

Pete Markey, chief marketing officer at Post Office, comments, “We are ready for the busy festive period and expecting our busiest Christmas season ever for online shopping returns. Shoppers spent a huge £3.3bn over the Black Friday weekend – a 36% increase on last year³, and, as 72% of online shoppers prefer to return via the Post Office, it is vital for us to ramp up resources not just for returns but also other in-branch services to help get Christmas sorted.”


1 According to research by Hall & Partners for Royal Mail Delivery Matters – Returns Special report, December 2014.

2 According to a report by Clear Returns

3 According to data company Experian and trade group IMRG UK shoppers

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