Newsagents turning to local post deliveries to make ends meet
Faced with competition from supermarkets and falling newspaper sales, British newsagents are delivering the post to replenish their income.
Brian Webb, who operates a newspaper delivery service in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, said his “Webb’s Postal Service” was delivering 1,000 letters a day for a cut-price 30p – less than half the price of first-class mail.
“I’m never going to hurt the Post Office but it has gone so well that it has blown us away,” said Webb, 69, who set up the service in March.
His letters carry a “Webb’s Postal Service” stamp and are delivered around Wisbech and 22 neighbouring villages by a fleet of 12 vans. All senders of mail must be existing newspaper or magazine-buying customers of his Webb’s of Leverington newsagent and all deliveries must be in the local neighbourhood.
Major customers include local doctor’s surgeries, schools and estate agents.
The pioneer of newsagent postal services was The Welly Post, which was set up by a family newsagent in Somerset last December as a means of delivering Christmas cards more cheaply.
It was so popular that it has continued as a daily local postal service and distributes 50 letters a day within a two and a half mile radius of the shop.
The 30p Welly Post stamps carry the symbol of the obelisk-shaped Wellington Monument, erected after the Battle of Waterloo to celebrate the achievements of the general Duke who took his title from the town.
Trish Lettley, 38, thought up the Welly Post when customers told her that that the cost of posting Christmas cards was prohibitive. The guaranteed next-day deliveries were an instant hit and the Post delivered up to 300 cards a day during the festive period.
Clients now include local vets and garages, sending out reminders for vaccinations or MOTs. Although the business, EJ Teare newsagent, uses paper boys and girls for its 24 daily rounds, postal deliveries are done by adults. “It’s a bit more responsibility for the post,” says Ms Lettley. Many of the letters are transported by her father, Richard, a former milkman, on his bicycle.
Mr Webb said he had consulted the communications watchdog Ofcom before offering the service. An Ofcom spokesperson said that postal operators were required to abide by the Mail Integrity Code of Practice but were not obliged to register with the regulator unless they intended to deliver in excess of 2.5m items per quarter.
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming that the street artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Are you ready for Crazy Doritos, the red-hot snack food craze sweeping Mexico’s streets?
- 4 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 5 Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Isis in Kobani: US resupplies Kurdish fighters by plane - then Turkey allows reinforcements through its border
Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming that the street artist's identity has been revealed
Super-sized ships arrive in Britain: How big can they get?
Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
iJobs Money & Business
£18 - 23k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Customer Service Executiv...
£60 - 65k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a ASP.NET Web Developer / ....
£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...
£27000 - £32000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our large charity ...