The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has called on the Post Office to listen to retailers more when it rolls out the Network Transformation Programme (NTP).
In a submission to the Post Office Committee’s inquiry into the project, the ACS urged the Post Office to provide “more consistent and regular communication regarding the detail and progress of the programme”, give more consideration to the right model for a location and provide more information to retailers on remuneration packages.
More support for training and extended telephone helpline hours were also seen as a priority.
The NTP, which is set to be implemented over the next three years, will see 2,000 branches converted to the Local model and 4,000 branches to the Main model, just over half of the current 11,500-strong network.
ACS chief executive James Lowman stressed the importance of a proper rollout of the programme.
“Retailers have a crucial role to play in making the programme a success and the Post Office must ensure that affected businesses are properly informed and supported through the transformation process,” he said. “Post Office has still not got its proposition right for supporting retailers delivering their new services, for example the extended business support services in place for retailers using the new formats must be in place during all hours that Post Office services can be delivered not just the traditional Post Office opening hours.
“If not, retailers will face problems serving customer needs and the whole network will suffer.”