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The Post Office has reported growing demand for its ‘drop and go’ parcel services, spurred by small businesses looking to find new ways to sell online during the coronavirus lockdown.

Drop & Go reduces time in branch by allowing customers to leave parcels to be processed by counter staff. The Post Office also removed the need for customers to complete the registration process for the service in store.

The company claimed the change helped scheme registrations jump 350% year on year and volumes to rise 30% since the lockdown began.

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The service looks set for a further boost as the Post Office announced an upcoming in-branch and online advertising campaign for Drop & Go to begin in June.

Post Office mails and retail boss Mark Siviter claimed the service was “minimising time spent in our branches and helping us ensure safe social distancing.” 

He added: “For small businesses, particularly new ones, being able to get goods out to customers quickly will play a key part in the nation’s recovery from coronavirus. We are here to support the UK’s entrepreneurs.”

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However, some subpostmasters expressed concern around the financial viability of dealing with higher volumes of postal services during the pandemic. Communication Worker’s Union national officer for postmasters Andy Furey said there had been “an explosion of parcels and packets, and everyone is saying the volumes are unprecedented.”

Mike Sohal, of Dallam Stores in Warrington described it as an “Ebay seller boom” and claimed: “The cost of running the PO for subpostmasters has gone up as we can’t just expect the staff to work through this madness at just normal pay rate, so PO should pay more in order for us to carry on.”

Find out more on our coronavirus information hub for retailers