“As e-commerce grows and digital services are used more, the role of traditional physical stores has changed. Due to falling letter volumes, nowadays up to 80% of customers visiting the shop come to either drop off or pick up a parcel. Most Finns are already increasing their use of parcel lockers and digital channels,” says Lasse Huttunen, Director, Retail Network of Posti.
In addition to changing customer needs, the plans for the shop in Elielinaukio are also affected by the costs associated with running Posti’s own shops—keeping central shop locations, large shops or extended opening hours profitable is very difficult. Posti has not owned the property in Elielinaukio known as Postitalo for 20 years. The shop’s premises were leased to Posti on a long-term lease, and a new tenant will be sought for the premises.
”The plans for the shop in Elielinaukio are part of a bigger change in our retail network. Last spring, we announced that we would close several of Posti’s own shops and, at the same time, increase the number of service points and parcel lockers. Our aim is that our services are easily available along everyday routes. That is why we have, over the past few years, expanded our retail network, which consists of Posti’s own shops, outlets run by our partners, parcel lockers and OmaPosti kiosks,” says Huttunen.
Services will still be available in the city center
Postal services are now available at more locations than before as the number of service points in Finland has doubled over the past 10 years. We have greatly increased the number of parcel lockers in particular as e-commerce has grown.
“Posti’s services will continue to be offered in Helsinki city center. By adding more parcel lockers and outlets run by partners, we have been able to bring our services even closer to our customers. There are now a total of 16 Posti service points within a kilometer of Helsinki Central Station,” says Huttunen.
Posti’s own shops in Helsinki are located in Punavuori (Annankatu 8), in Töölö (Linnankoskenkatu 14) and in Kaartinkaupunki (Kasarmikatu 19). In addition, there are 26 full-service Posti outlets run by partners as well as 13 pickup points in Helsinki. Stamps are sold in the city center by dozens of shops, including grocery stores and bookstores as well as most kiosks. Parcel lockers are located in Helsinki Central Station and the city center’s shopping malls.
“Last fall, Posti also opened Box, a space meant for e-commerce activities, in the city center (Keskuskatu 3). We have received a lot of positive feedback about Box from our customers. Box has parcel lockers, and it can be used to send both parcels and letters,” says Huttunen.
The planned change starts cooperation negotiations
The cooperation negotiations on the planned changes will begin in February 2020. According to a preliminary estimate, the reduction need is a maximum of 10 permanent employees. The change is set to take place in summer 2020 at the earliest.
“Naturally, it is very unfortunate that this change is estimated to also have personnel effects,” says Huttunen.
Posti needs to cut costs by approximately EUR 150–200 million in 2019–2021, as has been reported earlier. These cost savings are required due to the steep decline in letter and publication volumes.