Letter: How post offices boost a store's sales

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The Independent Online
WHAT Bette Anderson (Letters, 27 November) may not realise is that, far from regarding the newly acquired post offices as second-rate services to be tucked away at the rear of shops, Woolworth's and other stores entering into this sector fully appreciate their value. It is not the post offices' intrinsic value as a service that the stores appreciate but the fact that, by placing the post office at the rear of the store, customers of the post office have to pass by all the other goods on offer, with a likely increase in store sales resulting.

A member of the library in which I work remembers the same tactic being used by Boots in the placing of their circulating libraries. In the Boots where she worked, the library placed at the rear of the store was simply expected to cover its costs. The profit was made by incidental sales to customers passing through the store on the way to the library. With the Government now exploring the possibility of commercialising or privatising the country's library service, we can expect libraries to be joining post offices at the rear of Woolworth's and other stores in the near future.

Readers of Mills & Boon, Catherine Cookson and Wilbur Smith may be well-served; lovers of more demanding fiction, students, small businesses and local historians are certain to see the disappearance of the services they need.

Mark Benjamin

The Library Campaign

Hexham, Northumberland