Cambridgeshire

Leverington newsagent's Christmas cut-price post booming

Brian Webb with his stamps Image copyright Brian Webb
Image caption Brian Webb has delivered more than 80,000 letters since March

A newsagent who started a next-day postal service for half the price of Royal Mail said Christmas has seen sales of stamps "snowball".

Brian Webb, owner of Webbs of Leverington, Cambridgeshire, began offering customers in nearby villages a 30p next-day service in March.

Since then he has sold 80,000 stamps at half the cost of the Royal Mail's first-class postal service.

Deliveries have doubled to 2,000 items per day since 1 December, he said.

"It's really snowballed. It's like Christmas is going out of fashion and everyone is sending cards," Mr Webb said.

His service was initially offered only to customers of his newsagent business in 20 villages in the Wisbech area.

Mr Webb does not use post boxes but instead people order his custom-made stamps and his staff of 14 pick up their post and deliver it while on their newspaper rounds or at pre-arranged times.

Branching out

Businesses in the area soon became aware of his cut-price service and sales of stamps rocketed within a couple of months.

"I'm supporting their businesses and they're supporting mine," Mr Webb said.

He now collects and delivers to 25 local businesses every day.

"The three doctors' surgeries in the area are also using me now. Between them they send out about 500 letters a night."

Before starting his business, Mr Webb had to seek approval from Ofcom, the independent communications services regulator.

Webb's Postal Service is thought to be only the second such private scheme in the country.

A similar postal service is operated in Wellington, in Somerset.

Having seen the problems encountered by a parcel delivery company in the UK in the pre-Christmas season, Mr Webb is considering branching out and next year offering to deliver those as well as letters.

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