The British government is to shut 2,500 post offices to stem losses of almost six million euros a week. In the ‘email age’ those losses are double what they were two years ago. Calling that “unsustainable” British Trade and Industry Minister Alistair Darling said: “New technology, changing lifestyles and wider choice of ways of getting services mean that people are using post offices less.”
There are currently more than 14,000 post offices with 61,000 workers serving 28 million customers every week. Many of the smaller branches are based in shops and run by franchisees. Turnover last year was 1.2 billion euros. The post offices are part of the Royal Mail, the wholly government owned organisation which used to have a monopoly on delivering letters and parcels in the UK but which is now facing increasing competition from private delivery companies.
The British Trade and Industry Minister said the Royal Mail will have to make changes in order to win new business in the future. He did promise government investments of a further 2.5 billion euros up to 2011.