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Blaenavon Local branch, south Wales

Postmaster: Wendy Horler

Introducing Post Office services to their arts and crafts shop has transformed business for Nick and Wendy Horler.

The award-winning Artie Craftie shop in Torfaen, South Wales is also home to Blaenavon Post Office, a Local model branch open six days a week.

Postmaster Wendy Horler said: “The two businesses complement each other much more than you might think.

“Before introducing the Post Office, we just stocked materials for arts and craft to suit all types of crafters, but now we’ve expanded into greeting cards, gifts and tapped into a varied range of stationery and that appeals more to our Post Office customers.

“Since the branch opened in store, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in retail turnover that has far exceeded our expectations.”

Local businesses
While Post Office customers might be surprised to see such unusual retail alongside conventional branch services, it’s a unique offering that keeps them coming back.

“We’ve been proactive in approaching local businesses and getting them to shout about our banking facilities, which has led to them doing business-banking with us and many customers using us for all of their banking needs,” said Wendy.

“It helps keep money in the area, which stands us in good stead with other businesses. Before we had Post Office cash withdrawal services, we’d have lost customers who couldn’t pay by card on purchases under five pounds as there is minimum charge and now they simply make a cash withdraw.”

Diversifying retail
Footfall has consistently increased since Nick and Wendy introduced the Post Office, in no small part because of their proactive approach to developing retail.

“When we found out nowhere else in the area does printing, we invested in a large printer that also ties in well to the photography and framing side of our business,” said Wendy.

“We also have local schools that use the Post Office to buy travel money for school trips, and a base of internet sellers who use the Drop & Go service to regularly send bulk lots of parcels.”

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