Australia Post stores set to undergo significant change up

Mar 23, 2023
Australia Post will undergo major changes in a bid to revamp the service. Source: Getty Images.

Australia Post has unveiled its plans to fit its stores with changing rooms, allowing customers to try on their online purchases, making it easier to return items if needed before taking them home.

A concept store known as the Community Hub will open in July, in the town of Orange, NSW, and will include not only change rooms but will also showcase a range of products from local vendors.

In a bid to keep up with the changing consumer demand as online shopping continues to be a popular shopping option, the postal service will be testing dedicated parcel delivery and small business services, as well as separate testing for banking and identity services.

Australia Post Executive General Manager Parcel, Post, and e-commerce services Gary Starr told the Herald Sun that the government postal service hopes the new stores will ease the hassle of returning items, making online shopping an even easier experience.

“We’re testing a whole lot of new concepts … for example, there’s a change room, so I can order online and have it delivered to that community hub post, try it on and if it’s great, you can take it home, if not, then I can hand it straight back over the counter and it goes back to the retailer and I can get my money back quicker,” Starr said.

“It could be a local candle maker or soap maker and they can showcase their wares in the store and it gives them a chance almost it gives them an offline opportunity that they just don’t have. So we’re going to try that concept.

“There has been a friction point for online shopping [with the hassle of returning items] but we do believe that will lead to greater, better sales for the online retailer and a more convenient experience for the consumer.”

According to Australia Post’s 2023 online shopping report, 9.4 million households in Australia made online purchases in 2022, with a total spending of $63.8 billion on online goods.

This staggering amount constitutes more than 18 percent of all retail sales, reflecting a rise of 1.7 percent from previous years.

Australia Post forecasts that these numbers will only continue to grow, with online spending projected to comprise one-third of total retail spending within the next ten years.

This significant shift in operations comes as the postal service has faced major challenges due to a significant decline in traditional letter sending, with posties currently delivering 66 per cent fewer letters than they were at their peak in 2007-08.

The decline has prompted a review of the staple postal service, which is expected to report its first annual deficit since 2015, in the hopes that the organisation can revamp its operations.

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