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10 December 2014

Post Office trials returns via third-party convenience stores


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The Post Office has ramped up its offering in the click and click space by launching a trial returns drop-off service using third-party convenience stores and garages – the same types of location used by rival delivery solution specialists such as Collect Plus.

The difference is that these outlets will operate alongside the 11,500 Post Office branches that already provide a returns-drop off capability.

The new offer, which initially involves 150 trial sites, has been put together in association with Royal Mail. Participating retailers provide a pre-paid Royal Mail returns label along with the home shopping consignment, and consumers simply peel this off, attach it to the parcel, and take this to one of the new stores as an alternative to leaving it at a post office.

One of the attractions of using the additional outlets is that many will offer longer opening hours than existing post offices. However, the organisation points out that 5,000 of its own outlets now do offer extended opening hours for home shopping customers. On average, according to Post Office figures, this appears to work out at about four extra hours’ trading per day.

Meanwhile, at least 5,000 small and medium-sized business are said to have signed up to the Local Collect pick-up service already offered by Royal Mail and the Post Office since it was revamped last year. This is available at 10,500 Post Office branches. There is no indication yet of whether the full Local Collect service will be extended to the third-party outlets in the returns trial.

 

 

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