Public First research - 2021

Public First research, commissioned by the Post Office, found that 400 million visitors also spent money at local businesses, generating £1.1 billion in additional revenue.

Research has revealed how important having a Post Office is to the survival of the UK’s High Streets. 

The Public First research, commissioned by the Post Office, found that 33% of respondents said that on their last trip to the Post Office they had stopped at another shop, café, pub or restaurant. This resulted in an additional 400 million visitors to these local businesses, generating £1.1 billion in additional revenue. 

The research showed that 82 per cent of the public see their local Post Office as an essential service, with young people valuing it almost as much as older people. Summing up just how important the local Post Office is, it came out as the top choice when respondents were asked what would make up their ideal High Street – far ahead of stalwarts like a supermarket or a GP’s surgery. 

Small businesses also rely on their Post Office to keep their businesses functioning – with 43% of small businesses saying they would not survive without a local Post Office.

Post Office enables small businesses to operate

The research found that:

  • 60% of small businesses that Public First spoke to agreed that the Post Office is important to their business, and 72% that the Post Office is particularly important for small businesses.
    • When small businesses were asked how long they would be able to function without the Post Office, 43% said they would only be able to keep going for a few months at most; and 32% only a few weeks.To put that into context, that is the equivalent to a fifth (22%) of the entire UK economy, or a quarter (26%) of jobs.
  • 83% of small businesses agreed that the Post Office had been important to their business during the first lockdown period earlier this year.

Post Office branches remain open whilst further lockdown measures introduced

Post Offices are deemed an essential retailer by the UK Government. Branches will remain open throughout any lockdown measures. Customers are required to wear a face mask inside any branch, unless exempt, and practice safe social distancing.

When asked about the first lockdown period:

  • 39% of respondents said they had gone to the Post Office since lockdown began - significantly higher than the proportion that gone to work (29%) or their bank (21%).
  • 22% of respondents said that they had continued to visit the Post Office regularly, or at least once a month on average.

Read the full report here.

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