4.2. Bolstering Postmasters’ host retail businesses
In addition to the impact that Post Office branches have in driving additional spending to high streets throughout the country, they also provide substantial benefits to Postmasters and their host retail outlets.
Nearly all Postmasters (96%) feel there would be some impact on their financial performance if their post office were to disappear.
The value of a post office to its host retail outlet is illustrated by the perceived impact on the financial performance of businesses if the post office were no longer there. In fact, this research revealed that a clear majority of Postmasters (64%) believe their retail outlet would be severely impacted without its post office supporting it, while half state that their business would not survive if its post office were no longer present (Figure 5). Building on this, nearly all Postmasters (96%) feel there would be some impact on their financial performance if their post office were to disappear. These figures highlight the value to retailers of hosting a post office on their premises.
The total value of these sales to Postmasters across the United Kingdom was calculated at nearly £1 billion each year (£959m).
Post Office generates substantial value for retail premises hosting Post Office agency branches (for example, where a newsagent hosts a post office). In fact, for a typical host retail outlet, more than one third of all purchases in their wider retail outlet are by Post Office customers.¹⁷ The total value of these sales to Postmasters across the United Kingdom was calculated at nearly £1 billion each year (£959m). These figures show how having a post office within a retail outlet serves as a key driver of footfall and revenue and further illustrates the major role that Post Office plays in supporting local businesses
Impact on financial performance of retail outlets if their post office was no longer part of their business
Note: Sample size is 426. Postmasters were asked the question “If the Post Office was no longer part of your business, how much would that impact the financial performance of your business?” and were asked to answer on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is “My business would not survive without the Post Office” and 10 is “My business would not be impacted if the Post Office was no longer part of my business”. No impact was defined as those answering 1; Minor impact = 2-3; Moderate impact = 4-7; Severe impact = 8-9; Business would not survive = 10.
Source: London Economics’ analysis based on London Economics’ Postmaster survey.
¹⁷ Considering the total proportion of visitors to a typical Post Office and its retail outlet, 63% make Post Office-related purchases and 37% do not make any Post Office-related purchases (but make other purchases in the wider retail outlet). 32% of those making Post Office-related purchases also make other purchases in the retail outlet, meaning that 20% (32% multiplied by 63%) of those visiting the Post Office and its wider retail outlet make purchases both in the Post Office and in the retail outlet. Therefore, 57% of visitors to Post Office branches make a purchase in the wider retail outlet, of which 35% (20% divided by 57%) are Post Office customers.