ACS: Future of Post Offices Dependent on Local Shops

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has responded to the Government’s consultation on the future of the Post Office network, highlighting the essential role that convenience stores play in offering Post Office services.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Over the last few decades, there has been a decline in the number of specialist stores, including Post Offices, bakeries and off licences, and these have been taken on by convenience stores as part of their wider offering to customers and communities.  Three quarters of convenience stores operate either on their own or on a small parade of shops, and stores that feature Post Offices are even more isolated, providing an essential service for the local community that would otherwise not have access to Post Office services.”

Currently, the vast majority of the Post Office network is housed in over 8,000 convenience stores in the UK.  Research conducted by ACS with consumers, councillors, MPs and retailers has shown that Post Offices are the service that have the most positive impact on their local area, with convenience stores following as the second most highly-rated service.

In ACS’ submission to the Department for Business, the trade body has raised concerns about the long-term commercial viability of including a Post Office in a convenience store, especially in the context of increases in the National Living Wage and property costs.

Mr Lowman said: “Post Offices generate footfall and enhance the overall offer in a local shop, but retailers cannot to be expected to subsidise Post Offices indefinitely.  Our members are telling us that they already subsidise a number of the Post Offices in their stores, and they expect more of these branches to become loss-making unless the government increases support for the network and raises remuneration for retailers operating Post Offices.”

This entry was posted by Leah on Wed, 21/12/2016 - 09:03