Post box

As the demand for delivery and returns services is set to increase over the Christmas period, the Post Office has announced its plan to add one million extra opening hours.

In a bid to gear up for the festive season, the post office has revealed its modernisation programme, which involves branches in the UK opening for an extra 220,000 a week, up 50% on last year.

It’s also said that 4,000 branches will be open on Sundays in order to reach the demand of customers collecting online shopping, posting letters and cards to loved ones or withdrawing cash.

As one of the most trusted places to collect online shopping for over 75% of people, and two thirds (66%) of shoppers saying it is their preferred route to return unwanted items, the Post Office is expecting to handle a record number of online purchases and returns at its 11,600 branches as retailers predict booming sales of £24.3bn, up 10% year-on-year.

To help with the festive rush, hundreds of “Christmas makers” will be working in branches over the coming weeks to assist customers with their preparations. In addition to the extra people on hand, the Post Office has introduced another 14 mobile Post Offices to its fleet this year, improving services to 80 rural communities across the UK.

The latest community to benefit is Newborough in Wales, which received its first very special delivery of a mobile Post Office service this week.

Kevin Gilliland, group network and sales director at Post Office said: “People in Post Offices around the UK are working hard to make this Christmas special for our customers. Many of our 7,000 modernised branches are open from early in the morning and late into the evening seven days a week, making it more convenient to visit.

“One million extra opening hours is just the start of our Christmas effort, over 55,000 people in our 11,600 branches are on hand to help the millions of customers who will visit in the run up to Christmas.”