The Post Office has officially announced its proposal to relocate and franchise its Luton Mall branch into the shopping centre’s WHSmith.
If the plans go ahead, the Mall’s WHSmith store would be refurbished and the Post Office branch would be in a dedicated area, with extended opening hours including Sundays.
A Post Office spokeswoman, said: “There are 20 staff at Luton Post Office affected by the proposals and we’re talking with them about potential options. These can include transferring their employment to WHSmith in line with TUPE legislation, redeployment or voluntary settlement. We have a very strong track record of avoiding compulsory redundancies.”
The change is part of a wider movement, as the number of Post Office branches within WHSmith stores will be extended under a new agreement. WHSmith currently runs 135 Post Offices within their high street stores.
Under the new agreement, up to a further 40 are planned to be relocated into stores in 2019, “supporting the sustainability of branches”.
WHSmith will also move to a franchise arrangement of 33 Post Offices already sited in stores but currently operated directly by the Post Office.
The Post Office will soon be holding a six week public consultation in Luton.