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Will Post Office become the UK's biggest Sunday retailer?

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Post Office is aiming to become Britain’s biggest Sunday retailer in 2016.

Plans are underway to modernise and significantly increase the hours at the UK’s network of Post Office branches next year. This will mean that outlets open on a Sunday will outnumber those of Tesco, which currently holds the record for the most branches open seven days a week. Over 3,300 Post Offices currently open on a Sunday, compared to 2,300 at the same time last year and 1,000 in December 2013, making it second only to Tesco for Sunday trading.

“We’ll be working hard in the coming year to make sure customers across the UK, whether using branches to withdraw cash or pick up online shopping, have as easy access as possible to our services,” said Network and Sales Director at the Post Office Kevin Gilliland.

Research by The Telegraph found that one in three people would be more likely to use a post office if it were open on a Sunday, with the figure increasing to almost 40% of people between the ages of 25 and 44. In smaller villages a Post Office can sometimes be the only place for people nearby to shop.

At present, all of Tesco’s 3,500 stores open on a Sunday. 

Around £2bn has been made available by the government since 2010 for the modernisation of the country’s Post Offices. This year alone 5,000 have been updated and redeveloped: a rate of around 10 a day. Collectively, and combined with the branches trading on Sundays, this has resulted in an extra 8m opening hours.

Published on Thursday 31 December by Philip Gallagher

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