17 Nov 2014
UOE has today confirmed plans to open its next retail store, in partnership with the Post Office, at Potters Bar, Hertfordshire.
The branch will offer the full UOE retail range of designer and everyday essential stationery as well as a UOE’s Business Hub providing internet access, high-speed printing, copying, scanning, faxing, binding and laminating as well as expert help and advice from it’s award-winning retail team. Additionally it is proposed that the existing Crown Post Office at Potters Bar will relocate to UOE upon opening in Feb/March 2015.
As part of this plan, the Post Office has today announced the start of a 6-week consultation on the relocation of Potters Bar Post Office to UOE’s proposed new site (just 250m from the current Post Office) creating a modern branch with extended opening hours for customers.
As part of the consultation process, the Post Office will be inviting customers and interested parties to give their comments on the proposed new service through out the six-week public consultationas well as via a customer forum at which customers can learn more about the proposed new service. This drop-in information session will be held at Elm Court Community Centre, 363 Mutton Lane, Potters Bar, EN6 3BP, running from 15.30 to 19.30 on Wednesday 26 November.
The proposed move is part of a major modernisation programme across the Post Office network designed to ensure that Post Office branches are sustainable, profitable and no longer reliant on Government funding. The modernisation programme will make it easier for customers to do business, through longer opening hours and modern retail environments. Potters Bar Post Office is currently one of around 340 Crown branches directly owned by Post Office Ltd. The Post Office’s priority is to ensure that it can provide the services that will meet customer needs, both now and into the future, and secure the long-term viability of the organisation and the network. Roger Gale, Crown Network General Manager, said: “We are committed to keeping a Post Office branch in the area and to maintaining the same levels of service for our customers. We believe the best way for us to do this is to change the way we operate the branch, so if the move goes ahead it will be run by UOE rather than by us directly.”
Post Office services would be available from 08:30 to 18:00 Monday to Saturday, except for Wednesdays when the branch would open half an hour later, operating 09:00 to 18:00 should the move go ahead as proposed. This means Post Office services would be available for an extra 11 hours per week. Subject to consultation, the new Potters Bar Post Office would have four serving positions following its move, in line with current and predicted business levels.
One of these counters would be screened and two would be open-plan, while the fourth would be a Post Office serving point at the retail counter. Under the proposals, the relocated branch would offer the same wide range of products and services as are offered at the current branch, with the possible exception of a cash machine. This is subject to a survey by the provider and the relevant planning permissions. Addiotionally a private area in which customers can discuss the Post Office’s range of financial and telephony services with specialist staff will be available.
There will be no compulsory redundancies as a result of the proposed move of Potters Bar Post Office.
Commenting on UOE’s success to date, the Post Office said “UOE currently successfully operate another main Post Office in East Finchley and regard the Post Office as a vital part of community services. They have demonstrated that they would be able to successfully run Potters Bar Post Office, delivering excellent standards of customer service.”
The consultation will close on 17 December 2014. The proposed time of the relocation is February/March 2015.