The government has announced in its strategy document, ‘Securing the Future – Strategy 2020′, that a £20 million investment fund will be used to launch a new digital platform in a bid to modernise its business.
“We are outlining our strategy to secure the future of the Post Office with ambitious plans for a modern, digital and thriving business in 2020. We are modernising our branch network, increasing the range of financial products we offer and providing new digital platforms. We are going to be wherever our customers are, whether it is close to home, to work or online,” said Paula Vennells, chief executive of the Post Office.
Vennells has claimed that she wants the business to become more ‘dynamic’ and more like a ‘high street retailer’. She said: “If you’re a channel, you look to somebody else, a supplier behind you to deliver [dynamism and energy]. If you’re a retailer, you do it yourself.”
The Post Office’s strategy will also include the provision of support for subpostmasters to develop their business. However, according to CWU, the communications union, there is the potential risk of redundancy for around 4,000 postmasters.
The union said: “The network transformation programme has been running for two years on a voluntary basis, but take-up by postmasters of the new-style operating Post Office models – mains and locals – has been poor, caused in the main by a one-sided contract and low remuneration rates. The Post Office will be writing to around 4,000 postmasters telling them their Post Office branch does not fit in with their future plans. They will be put on notice that their Post Office will be shut down and the service transferred into a neighbouring retailer, typically a supermarket.”