The Post Office has secured an agreement with Evri to trial in-branch sales, parcel pick-ups and drop-offs.

The trial will take place in 50 Post Office branches before Christmas and use Evri’s ParcelShop self-service device, which will have a dedicated area within each store.

This is the fourth contract that the Post Office has secured with a major carrier since ending its exclusive parcel handling relationship with Royal Mail in March 2021 and the first to offer in-branch sales of additional products.

It follows recent deals with Amazon, DPD and DHL Express for their ‘Click and Collect’ services.

It also marks the first time in the 360-year history of the Post Office that it will sell end-to-end delivery products that are not fulfilled by Royal Mail.

The Post Office said the agreements are a continued demonstration of its strategy to open its network to external carriers in order to compete in the fast-growing parcels market and drive footfall for Postmasters.

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It added that with 93% of the population living within one mile of a Post Office, and most branches operating longer opening hours than traditional retailers, in-branch pick-up and drop-off is often a more flexible option for consumers, who may not always be at home to receive deliveries.

It is also hoped that the partnership will encourage people to return to their local high street and reduce the environmental impact of vans making multiple stops to drop off parcels.

Post Office chief executive Nick Read said: “Evri is a household name and we’re delighted to be working with such 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. We now look forward to trialling Evri Parcel Shop services in 50 of our branches ahead of Christmas.”

Added Evri chief executive Martijn De Lange: “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+ locations and give Post Office customers a new fast, reliable and cost-effective way to send and receive their parcels. We are excited as to where our partnership might lead moving forward.”