Post Office to close 37 Crown Post Offices

The UK Post Office has announced it is to close 37 Crown Post Offices, and to re-open them as ‘directly managed’ branches in addition to the 93 branches announced in 2016.

Since it announced the closure of the 93 Crown Post Offices, Post Office announced that ‘nearly half’ of those branches “have now successfully relocated into retail stores”.

In a statement issued by Post Office, Roger Gale, Sales and Trade Marketing Director, said: “We’re committed to maintaining the Post Office’s special place on the high street and the changes we are making underpin our continued commitment to give communities in every part of the country access to essential services.

“The Post Office’s network of more than 11,600 branches is easily the largest in the UK, with 17 million customer visits a week. The vast majority of these branches are run with partners, and in the locations announced today we believe this will also be a more sustainable approach for the long term. With consumer habits changing, and the high cost of maintaining premises in prime high street locations, franchising helps us to keep services where our customers want and need them.

“We will take time to identify the right partners over the coming months and all proposals will be subject to local consultation.

“Post Office has a strong record of supporting people through change and we will be keeping affected staff fully informed as we develop our plans.”

The move has not been taken well by unions who point out that this will bring about a reduction in the numbers of directly employed Post Office staff.

In a statement, Unite “branded another 139 redundancies together with the intention to franchise a further 37 Crown Post Offices as ‘ another nail in the coffin’”.

Unite officer for the Post Office Brian Scott said: “What we have been saying for some time now is coming to pass – salami slicing of a much respected and valued national institution in pursuit of profit. The public will suffer as services are continually and systematically eroded.

“The Post Office announcement also includes the removal of financial service sales from the high street and for them to go online. This is a move away from its previous strategy of engaging face-to-face with customers.

“This is another nail in the coffin of the Post Office and a move to online will make the Crown Office network superfluous to requirements.”
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