UK post office network to see more branches open on Sundays

31 December 2015

Plans to revive the UK's ailing post office network would next year see more branches being open on Sundays than Tesco stores or McDonald's restaurants.

According to Royal Mail, it aimed to emerge as the UK's "largest retail network open on Sundays" by the end of 2016.

Over 3,300 Post Offices now remain open on Sundays, as against 2,300 a year ago and 1,000 in December 2013.

This makes the Post Office second only to Tesco in terms of retailers doing business seven days a week.

According to Tesco, all of its 3,500 stores are open on Sundays, McDonald's has 1,200 restaurants across the UK, all of which open seven days a week, and Costa Coffee has around 2,000.

The Post Office's drive to stay open longer is part of a major "modernisation" programme that started in 2012.

Kevin Gilliland, network and sales director at the Post Office, said, "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," The Telegraph reported.

Further, this year had also seen the modernisation of 5,000 branches, at a rate of 10 a day, delivering an extra 8 million opening hours.

Branches had also come up this year in a butcher's, a baker's and a shop making candle holders.

A new branch in Huby, near York is run from a not-for-profit community shop by over 400 villagers, opened with help from the Post Office's £20 million community fund.

In a departure to the trend, a local town library moved into the Post Office in Ashburton, Devon, in what used to be a kitchen.

Gilliland said, "Our modernisation programme has continued apace during 2015.

"We reached a major milestone of over 5,000 branches converted into new modern retail outlets, with over 3,000 open seven days a week.

"Three years into the programme we have now delivered an eight million extra opening hours for customers to visit our branches.

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