The Post Office has partnered with parcel company Evri to sell delivery products outside of Royal Mail for the first time in its history.
It means that people will be able to drop off and pick up parcels through Evri in some local Post Office branches.
The tie-up will be trialled in 50 Post Offices before Christmas, where customers can find an Evri ParcelShop self-service device within the branch.
Post Office – which has more than 11,500 branches – said that it marks the first time in its 360-year history that it will be selling products for end-to-end delivery with a carrier that is not Royal Mail.
It has struck deals with three other big carriers in the past year – DPD, DHL Express and Amazon – to roll out click-and-collect services, whereby people can order items online and pick them up from a Post Office branch.
Evri, formerly Hermes, delivers items from big retailers such as Next, John Lewis and Asos, and is a major rival to struggling firm Royal Mail.
In March last year, Post Office ended its exclusive parcel-handling relationship with Royal Mail, which it said allows it to adapt to the changing way that consumers are buying and sending postal products.
Royal Mail has been involved in a long-running pay dispute with its workers, leading to huge industrial action across the UK.
Workers are set to walk out on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two of the busiest shopping days of the year.
Nick Read, chief executive of Post Office, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Evri, an established and successful company, to expand the wide range of parcel services that we can offer customers.
“Last January we had no carrier partnerships, and we’ve now grown our Click and Collect capabilities fivefold, which is a real testament to the size and reach of the Post Office network and the accessibility it affords consumers.”
Martijn De Lange, Evri’s chief executive, said: “Our ParcelShops are key in our commitment to offering consumers both convenience and choice, enabling them to send, return and collect parcels at a time and place that suits them.
“These new locations will complement our existing nationwide network of 10,000-plus locations and give Post Office customers a new fast, reliable and cost-effective way to send and receive their parcels.”
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