A post office can boost sales and make your store a local destination. We join Ramesh Shingadia, who owns two stores with branches, and Peter Johnson, from the Post Office, to help two retailers with new branches make the most of these opportunities.

If you would like to add a post office and improve the performance of your store, please complete the form below and we will be in touch.

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Ramesh Shingadia
Shingadia’s Londis Southwater & Post Office, Southwater

Ramesh Shingadia, along with sons Alpesh and Amish, opened a Post Office Local branch – where a counter is integrated into the existing shop – at Londis Caterways in 2015. It was the first branch in a new location and the 5,000th to be launched under the Post Office’s network transformation programme, an initiative to make post office services more accessible to communities.

Run by Amish, and recognised as the IAA Overall Best Shop in 2016, Londis Caterways is on a shopping parade in a suburb of Horsham, a market town in West Sussex. At 1,800sq ft, it is a third smaller than Ramesh’s first shop in nearby Southwater, which opened in 1983 and has been a Post Office main branch since 2013.

The store was quite run-down when the family took it over, so they decided to ask their community what they wanted from their local store, and services were high on the wish list. Two new housing developments created demand for post office services, so Ramesh was keen to include a branch as part of refit plans, and the new-look store and post office opened in November 2015. 

“The post office at Caterways has worked from day one – our turnover jumped up by 10%,” says Ramesh. “Footfall rose and basket spend shot up from £4.25 to £4.99. Not only do we generate an income from the post office, but it has a halo effect on the rest of the business, which is thriving.”

The family-run store has had great feedback from the community, with customers travelling from different areas to use the services offered through the post office. Each week, they get a post office transaction report, which they check against the retail side.

“Around 40% of post office turnover is at Christmas – our transactions shot up to 17,000 one week in December. We use the post office data to merchandise and cross-sell more effectively. For example, reminding shoppers that first-class post provides a maximum of £20 compensation often prompts them to go for special delivery because it has higher levels of compensation for expensive packages.”

These visits are about sharing the best practice that Ramesh has put in place in his stores – along with expert advice from Peter Johnson, deputy director network transformation programme at Post Office – with two retailers who have added Post Office Local branches recently, so they can see similar results. “We have learned a lot from having a post office that we have applied to our store, and vice versa, and I want other retailers to learn in this way, too.”

The Opportunity

  • >> 32% of shoppers will travel more than half a mile to visit a store with a post office
  • >>78% of people using the post office bought something else in the shop

Focus on

Expert Advice

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Peter Johnson
Deputy director, network transformation programme, Post Office

“Having a post office gives all kinds of people a reason to come regularly into your store. Ramesh really understands the strategies he needs to use for both the retail and post office aspects of his business to maximise this – and he has shared this with Amarjit and Raaj. If all our retailers can listen and learn from each other like we have done today, I think we can achieve a lot.”

Lessons From Ramesh’s Store

  • Set upselling targets: encourage your staff to set a target number of special deliveries to upsell each day – at least one in five (20%).
  • Use your data: find out exactly how your customers are interacting between your post office and the rest of your store. Once you know the facts, model the
  • rest of your store around them. 
  • Offer first-class service: especially at peak post office times, such as Christmas, make sure you’re giving customers extra, such as free coffee vouchers. 

If you would like to add a post office and improve the performance of your store, please complete the form below and we will be in touch.