Isle of Man Post Office (IOMPO) wishes to advise customers that the post office counter situated in St Johns Post Office on Station Road will cease on 7th August 2019. Sub postmaster Rob Knighton has tendered his resignation to run the Post Office.
Mr Knighton has cited his reason for stepping down from running the office is in the main due to falling transaction numbers, putting the financial status of the business in doubt.
Mr Rob Knighton said: "Unfortunately running the Post Office at St Johns is no longer financial viable for us with falling footfall through the door. We are seeing an increase in more and more people choosing to do their business online and of course, there is a further threat of lost business through digitalisation. I would sincerely like to thank my customers for their custom over the years and who have supported us and chosen to transact their business face-to-face at our counter."
The digital era is changing the way people and businesses transact their postal business, leading to a sustained reduction in people using the counter-based services, a reduction in businesses wishing to offer counter services through the network, and a continued decline in letter mail (47% drop in letter volume in the last 10 years).
The resignation comes at a time when IOMPO is preparing its five-year retail strategy to respond to the changes, having received approval from Tynwald in December 2018. The business is currently in the midst of undertaking research on the format of the delivery of retail services customers want and will report back to Tynwald with its results and recommendations no later than October 2019. Therefore, the sub postmaster role will not be advertised.
Julie Edge MHK, Chairman of IOMPO said: "The Board accept Mr Knighton's business decision to resign and wish to express our sincere thanks to him and his staff for the loyalty and dedication they have provided to customers both in St Johns and the surrounding areas. We recognise that customers will be saddened by the news and mindful of the change this will have on MiCard customers in particular, we are working closely with the Social Security Division and are in touch with the MHKs and local authority for German to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum."
Mary Gaffney, General Manager for Retail & Customer Services, IOMPO said: "We are ensuring the needs of customers are met and are in contact with the relevant organisations to help manage the change. We wish to ensure steps are taken to make the transition for customers to collect welfare payments from a different nominated post office is as smooth as possible. MiCard customers can, if they wish, choose to nominate a person to collect benefits/pensions on their behalf by way of a proxy. The Social Security Division has sent a letter to all their MiCard customers explaining the process they should follow."
"We are aware that many of St Johns Post Office's customers reside across the surrounding area and when the office closes on 7th August, these customers will have the choice of switching to another post office, the nearest available are Peel and Foxdale - both of which are approximately 2.5 miles away and are on a bus route from St Johns" she added.
Isle of Man Post Office understands that the village shop, in which the Post Office counter is housed, will continue to operate once postal services cease.