The number of Post Office branches within WHSmith stores will be extended under a new agreement.
WHSmith currently runs 135 Post Offices within their high street stores throughout the country. Under the new agreement up to a further 40 are planned to be relocated into stores in 2019, supporting the long-term sustainability of Post Office branches and bringing longer opening hours for customers in many areas.
This would include Harrogate Post Office, currently located at 11 Cambridge Road, Harrogate, HG1 1AA. The Post Office are proposing to relocate the branch to WHSmith, Victoria Shopping Centre, Cambridge Street, Harrogate, HG1 1TU.
Detailed plans are currently being drawn up, then a six-week local public consultation.
In addition, WHSmith will move to a franchise arrangement, of 33 Post Offices already sited in stores but currently operated directly by the Post Office. The total number of Post Offices operated by WHSmith in their stores is therefore planned to rise overall to over 200.
Roger Gale, Post Office Network & Sales Director, said:
WHSmith and Post Office have worked together successfully for more than a decade and our collaboration helps to secure our services on high streets for years to come.
We’re continuing to respond to unprecedented change on high streets and in consumer trends. By adapting to the needs of customers we’re making sure Post Offices will matter as much tomorrow as they do today, with services available when and where people want them, in convenient locations and open for longer hours, including Sundays.
We’ve made significant changes in our network of 11,500 Post Offices over the past few years, modernising more than 7,500 branches and increasing opening hours for customers by more than 200,000 a week. We’ve also developed our services, including the introduction of everyday banking for customers of the UK’s high street banks.
The vast majority of the Post Office’s network of 11,500 Post Office branches, large and small, are run on a franchise or agency basis with retailers as part of thriving businesses. It makes sense to further expand this successful, sustainable way of providing Post Office services to customers.