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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Couple in bid to beat recession

A VILLAGE shop has taken to extreme measures in a bid to beat the recession.

50023931B003
CUSTOMER CALL: Diane and Alan Bath at the Broughton Post Office MILTON HAWORTH REF: 50023931B003

Broughton Post Office has advertised for customers to ‘use it or lose it’.

A sign in the post office window states: ‘Customers wanted: no experience required, full training given, must have own money! Apply within...’.

Owners Diane and Alan Bath have run the Prince’s Street post office since 2005, and said they put the sign outside to highlight that people have to support local businesses to keep them open.

They were given the idea by a customer.

Mrs Bath said: “Business is very slow.

“We have a core of locals that do use us every day but the ones that shout the loudest about local shops don’t use them.”

The couple said that, so far this year, turnover has dropped by £40,000 compared to the same time last year. They also said the post office’s policy of promoting web services is harming business.

Mrs Bath said: “People come in to do their car tax and say ‘Oh, I’ve been trying all morning online but it wouldn’t work – so I’ve came to you’ so I say why didn’t you come here first?”

Mr Bath added: “It doesn’t help the Post Office are encouraging people to go online for services.

“The first couple of years were lovely – trade actually increased but we’ve had four atrocious summers in a row and the internet doesn’t help.

“Last year was bad but this year is worse.”

The post office has now branched out to sell a series of model railways and gifts as the owners look to diversify.

The couple said the sign was a light-hearted way of conveying a serious message.

Mrs Bath added: “We have to sell Hawkshead post office and we’ve put personal money into this business – it’s got to a serious level.

“We don’t want to have to sell Broughton because we live here.”

Post Office spokeswoman, Marie Gray, said: “The Post Office is committed to offering a wide range of competitive and relevant products and services to customers through our 11,800 strong branch network.

“We have launched a number of new products over the last few years across financial services, travel and telecoms which have been well-received by customers and have helped generate new revenue streams and increased footfall for branches.

“We want to offer people choice in the ways they access our products and services and by offering selected products through postoffice.co.uk, we can help attract a whole new type of customer who may not have considered the Post Office before, to the benefit of the network as a whole.”

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