As part of its plan to invest €800m (US$818m) by the end of 2027, La Poste has announced it will invest €500m (US$511m) in the renovation of all of its post offices across France. The first 10 post offices will open by the end of 2022, followed by the second phase of 70 post offices by 2024.
Of this €800m (US$818m) budget, €300m (US$306m) will be dedicated to the modernization of digital solutions. For e-commerce regulars, parcel stations will be trialled in 2023 to enable customers to open their parcels, check their purchases, deposit their packaging for recycling, try on clothes purchased online in a dedicated fitting room, and manage any parcel returns. These parcel stations will be in addition to the Duo lockers installed in the retail space, which have been designed for the drop off and collection of Colissimo parcels. The parcel lockers are expected to facilitate parcel returns management and will be in addition to the automated Pickup lockers, which will ensure customers can collect parcels 24/7.
The new generation of post offices will be structured around three main concepts – a general public retail space, a banking advice space and a professional advice space. The general public retail space will increase in size and be equipped with a reception desk where customers can put down their belongings and prepare their parcels or letters. All of La Poste’s key services will be available in this area, either with the support of a sales advisor or in self-service mode using streamlined touchscreen terminals. The banking advice spaces will have their reception and appointment areas redesigned to improve customer comfort and ensure confidential exchanges. An area will also be dedicated to professional customers, to guarantee a customized and confidential experience. Advisors will be specially trained to support customers in their daily affairs – financing, insurance, legal, visibility and communication, etc.
Banking advisors will be equipped with laptops to ensure they can offer videoconference appointments and touchscreen tablets so that customers can electronically sign documents and contracts. Additionally, the company intends to deploy more intuitive and user-friendly automatons and digital terminals in retail spaces. Customers can use these to make an appointment with their banking advisor or professional advisor (for professional customers) or request a callback by phone, purchase prepaid envelopes and parcel packaging, weigh and frank letters and parcels, as well as consult their accounts and print La Banque Postale IBANs.
Customers will be welcomed by a customer advisor who is recognizable by their black jacket in La Poste and La Banque Postale colors. Customer-facing postal workers will be equipped with smartphones (Smarteo), enabling them to process simple transactions such as sending parcels or collecting items. It will also be possible to collect parcels using La Poste’s Digital Identity without the need to present ID.
New furniture will also be deployed in the retail space. Alongside the universal additions, customer advice, service offering and customer experience will be adapted to each post office, For example, digital and/or France service advisors will accompany customers who are not digitally inclined and help facilitate their online administrative formalities. There will also be specific services aimed at young people, seniors, tourists or collectors, such as the option to take your highway code or boat license test, corners dedicated to stamp collection, and concierge services.
La Poste Immoblier, the real estate arm of Le Groupe La Poste, is supervising the work to modernize these post offices. Refurbished using modern furnishings and bio-sourced materials (seaweed-based paint will be used throughout), these new post offices have been designed to provide better acoustics and more responsible lighting, with the use of LED lighting throughout. The installation of adapted ventilation systems will also result in energy savings. Around 85% of waste will be recycled or reclaimed. In line with La Banque Postale’s corporate values, the new banking areas which were redesigned in 2022 will be furnished with decorative items specially designed for La Banque Postale in partnership with Emmaüs Alternatives and manufactured using recycled materials donated to the charity.