Post Office Counters, which operates the 19 100 Post Office outlets in the UK, has appointed Marketplace Design to work on a major review of its retail format.
The consultancy is working on first-stage designs, in preparation for at least two trial outlets due to open in July or August. Work will concentrate on the retail format and interior graphics.
The Post Office master brand will not change, but some sub-brands may be redeveloped as part of the project, says Marketplace chairman Bryan Brown.
Chester Wallace, head of retail strategy at Post Office Counters, says: “The design of our network has changed incrementally over the years, and research has shown that some of our customers find the outlets institutional.”
There are also plans to make Post Office services, many of which are facing increasing competition from supermarkets and banks, more visible by improved point-of-sale material.
Wallace says the two trial outlets are likely to consist of one Crown site, which is owned and run by the Post Office, and one sub post office.
“This is probably the first time we have gone to a business which is both a design consultancy and a business consultancy. We feel we can learn from external experts,” adds Wallace of Marketplace.
The project takes a 1995 identity project by Enterprise Sampson Tyrrell one step further, says a Post Office spokeswoman.