For the first time in its 360-year history, the Post Office will enable customers to choose parcel carriers other than Royal Mail over the counter in Post Office branches.
In chosen branches, Post Office customers will be able to walk up to a counter and choose to send their parcels with DPD or Evri, in addition to existing services from the Royal Mail, enabling them to choose the delivery carrier that best suits their needs.
The new buy-in-branch parcel service will begin in selected branches in time for the peak Christmas delivery season, complementing the recent launch of Parcels Online, which enables customers to compare and purchase postage online for drop-off in Post Offices.
According to new research commissioned by Post Office, 76% of the UK population sends parcels each year. More than one in three (37%) tend to shop around to find the best delivery deals while almost half (48%) wish there were more delivery providers available to choose from at one location when they are posting parcels.
The announcement, which comes in the run-up to the busy Christmas period, highlights new research showing that 40% of people feel that sending parcels at Christmas can be stressful as they worry that parcels could get lost (47%) or won’t arrive in time (43%). Eighty-four percent of UK adults consider Post Office to be a reliable place for their parcels to be dropped off, so this new service aims to reassure customers when sending parcels at this time of year.
Post Office CEO Nick Read said, “We are fundamentally transforming Post Office by introducing new mails carriers for over-the-counter sales for the first time in our 360-year history. This expanded partnership with DPD and Evri shows how we are disrupting the mails market to offer greater choice for customers and more opportunities for postmasters as we build a Post Office fit for the future.”
Neill O’Sullivan, managing director of parcels and mails at Post Office, added, “Our ongoing partnership with Royal Mail remains of utmost significance to us, and this announcement further enhances the Post Office’s pivotal role as an indispensable one-stop hub for communities, where our valued customers can confidently participate in a wide array of face-to-face transactions all while enjoying the exceptional assistance and support we provide.”
Elaine Kerr, CEO at DPD UK, said, “Buy-in-branch extends our working relationship with the Post Office and will help provide more choice and convenience for UK parcel shippers. DPD parcel recipients can already collect their parcels from Post Office branches and regard them as safe and trusted locations for a wide range of services. The new service will help reinforce the unique position the branches have and, for the first time, give face-to-face parcel customers genuine choice over how they ship.”
Martijn de Lange, CEO at Evri, said, “We’re committed to delivering a high-quality, convenient and reliable service and this partnership offers our cost-effective options, with great quality benefits such as tracking as standard, within the Post Office’s expansive network to reach more communities. We deliver over 730 million parcels each year, and as well as offering domestic services, which sees us deliver to almost every household in the UK, our international services will be available at selected Post Office counters.”
Elliot Jacobs, postmaster and non-executive director at Post Office, said, “Providing multiple carrier options in our branches is essential for our customers. We’ve seen a broader demographic coming through our doors since partnering with Evri and DPD for PUDO and Parcels Online, and it’s made a significant difference. With the new buy-in-branch service, we can finally offer our customers the convenience of choosing from a range of carriers, all in one place. This not only simplifies their lives but also brings more traffic to the high streets, potentially boosting local businesses. It’s a win-win for everyone, from providing more choices to improving customer experiences and making our branches even more central to our communities.”
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