The number of people shopping online this Christmas has increased by 61.2% with many being forced to shop online due to the UK’s second government-mandated lockdown.
Post Office Master- Paul Coughlan has been working closely with five local Salford post offices across the Salford post office area to ensure that the increase in demand for postal services this Christmas is not affecting the safety of staff and customers.
“We are essential services and due to the various restrictions and lockdowns, the community has become increasingly dependent on their local post offices.
“But we have to remember that Coronavirus is still very prevalent and safety measures have to be adhered too, we have strict policies on capacity in local branches and this has obviously affected efficiency and speed in-store.”
Local post offices have remained open throughout the pandemic, with many branches only closing for bank holidays and other national closures.
Having worked for the Post Office Group for nearly 4 decades, Paul understands better than anyone the frustrations customers have been feeling due to the closure of the high street during the lockdown.
“I’ve worked in this business for almost 40 years, and you really do have to be a people person. It can be challenging at times when some customers give you a bit of grief, especially at times like these with so much uncertainty within local communities.
“I think we all just want to keep the economy going during these hard times, and we all need to remember that this is temporary, and we will all get through this together.
“Everyone is working as hard as they can, so just try and empathise with your local cashier this Christmas no matter where you are and recognise that they want to help you and we’re here to help!”.
New figures have suggested that the number of people visiting UK shops during the 2020 Christmas shopping period, will be sharply down on last year as shoppers opt to buy online instead.
Financial analysts Springboard have said that the second lockdown, will be “catastrophic” for the industry – and it has recalculated its Christmas forecast to show the added impact of the second national lockdown on retail with a predicted 62% decrease in high street sales.