Post Office rolls out more Sunday openings

A third of customers feel they would use their local Post Office branch more often if it was open on a Sunday

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The Independent Online

Not long ago the Post Office was under threat after thousands of closures left some communities without vital services.

But the high street retailer has found new ways to survive. It conducted research showing that a third of customers feel they would use their local Post Office branch more often if it was open on a Sunday. 

So, 21 years since the Post Office first opened its doors on a Sunday, it is celebrating the 3000th store to do so, after a garden centre near Norwich franchised the brand.

More than 6000 Post Offices have shut their doors since 2000. The company said in 2012 that it would protest the remaining 11,500 branches.

It has done so by franchising many operations to other businesses, in turn reducing the public subsidy for the Post Office from £210 million in 2011-12 to £130 million in 2014-15.

The 3000th branch at the Green Pastures Farm Centre near Norwich, customers can buy plants at the same till as they post and collect parcels or buy euros. “Sunday is our busiest day, so we're delighted to be able to offer this service to our customers,” said Michelle Evans, who runs the centre.

Kevin Gilliland, network director at the post office, said franchising branches and Sunday opening hours was modernising the business.

"We intend to be the largest retail network in the UK open seven days a week," he said.

Because of its smaller size, the Post Office is already excluded from rules that prevent it some stores from opening more than six hours on a Sunday.

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