Business

Post Office expands Sunday openings

Post Office at garden centre Image copyright Post Office
Image caption Post Office facilities will be open on Sundays at this family-run garden centre

The number of Post Offices opening on a Sunday will hit 3,000 this weekend, thanks to new facilities at a garden centre in Norfolk.

Within a year the Post Office claims it will also have more branches open on a Sunday than any other retailer, including Tesco.

The latest branch to open seven days a week is in a garden centre at Bergh Apton, south east of Norwich.

Customers will be able to post and collect parcels, as well as buy euros.

But, as with many other franchised offices, there will be no dedicated till - meaning those wanting to use the Post Office will have to queue up alongside those buying plants.

"Sunday is our busiest day, so we're delighted to be able to offer this service to our customers," said Michelle Evans, who runs the Green Pastures Farm Centre.

'Modernisation'

More than 6,000 Post Offices have closed since 2000, but in 2012 the organisation promised to maintain the current network of 11,500 branches.

Since then an additional 50 High Street branches - main Post Offices - have been converted to franchised operations, in an attempt to stem losses.

As a result the public subsidy for the Post Office has fallen from £210m in 2011/12 to £130m in 2014/15.

"Through our modernisation programme, our branches are open when and where people want them to be," said Kevin Gilliland, network director at the Post Office.

"We intend to be the largest retail network in the UK open seven days a week."

The government is already planning to allow larger stores to open for longer hours on a Sunday - but smaller shops, like Post Offices, are already excluded from the six-hour opening limit.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites