Protests planned as 74 Post Offices to be handed to WHSmith


Protests are planned across the UK on Saturday after the Post Office announced plans to franchise dozens more stores to retailer WHSmith while closing numerous others.

Today the Post Office said it was proposing “to franchise a further 74 directly managed branches to WHSmith,” alongside as the business warns it is “not immune” from the troubles facing the high street.

In response to the proposals, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) is set to hold protests at 50 locations across the UK, supported by Labour politicians and local campaigners.

It argued that wages offered at franchises like WHSmith are lower than at dedicated Post Offices.

“The day of action is an ambitious one. We are holding dozens of events from Truro to Aberdeen, in every region of the United Kingdom, to engage with members of the public about this latest shameful round of planned closures,” CWU general secretary Dave Ward said.

“People are sick and tired of the broken privatisation agenda that is behind this latest move. We hope many will join our campaign to save our Post Offices.”

Post Office’s network & sales director Roger Gale responded: “The Post Office has over 11,500 branches across the UK.

“It will be business as usual in all our branches and we hope the CWU will ensure that there is no impact on customer service.

“The Post Office is committed to keeping its vital services on high streets and at the heart of communities across the UK. However, we are not immune to the challenges facing retailers in local high streets, and we must adapt to changing customer needs by making our services more accessible to customers, for instance through longer opening hours.

“That is why we are proposing to franchise a further 74 directly managed branches to WH Smith.

“The plan enables us to maintain branches in town and city centres in a way that’s financially sustainable, not just for today’s customers but tomorrow’s too. 98 per cent of the Post Office network is run in this way, on an agency or franchise basis.

“It’s a model that works through delivering the benefits of shared overheads and footfall.”

Click here to sign up to Retail Gazette‘s free daily email newsletter


  1. Appalling, we are losing our purpose built post office in the county town of North Yorkshire – Northallerton. It will go into WHS which is one of the most inaccessible shops in town being dark and narrow. You will still have to go to the back of the post office building to collect parcels so its not like the building is closing. A disgusting situation

  2. “making our services more accessible to customers, for instance through longer opening hours.
    That is why we are proposing to franchise a further 74 directly managed branches to WH Smith”

    Just lies, rhetoric and misinformation, this is what this country is all about now. It’s to save money and any branches moved to WH Smith will be guaranteed to have less services, less staff and long queues.

  3. My local WHSmith is narrow and cramped how they heck can this be suitable for a main PO when our local PO just round the corner always has long queues. Our town has very few PO with a population of over 61k I can only think of our 3-4 now and some wont do things like renewal driving licences. This is another attempt at making profits for its shareholders at the expense of its customers.

  4. Having owned a franchise myself. This is the only way to go other than large tax funded subsidies from the government to keep the post offices open. PO services are becoming more online that before, faced with rent and lower PO fees people need to realise private entrepreneurs cannot afford to operate a post office simply to provide convenience at no cost, equally the post office will never be tax funded, quite simply the post offices are dieing as a result of service such as passport check and send, vehicle tax, account opening etc all becoming available online while also facing competition from Yodel, DHL etc. Unless the tax payer pays stop complaining about having a PO on every high st in the country it won’t work and will never work unless the tax payer pays. People seem to think they have a right to services with no cost repercussions.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here