PostShop on hunt for Picton franchisee

Picton residents might be heading to a new shop to post their letters after it was announced on Friday the Picton PostShop is on the market.

The PostShop at High St operates both New Zealand Post and Kiwibank.

New Zealand Post general manager store network Jon Andrews said the business could shift to the premises of an existing Picton shop, or stay at its current location, depending on who bought it.

Four people are employed at the shop, but it was not known at this stage if they would lose their jobs or be kept on by their new employer, he said.

The New Zealand Post Group announced late last year that it was making changes to its store network, including forming more relationships with local businesses to operate postal and banking services on its behalf.

Franchising the business would give customers more convenience and longer opening hours, Andrews said.

"New Zealand Post and Kiwibank will continue to provide services in Picton, including supporting mail delivery into the Marlborough Sounds," he said.

"There will continue to be a physical place where people are able to access the postal and banking services - just from within another local business."

New Zealand Post was changing in response to how and where customers were using its banking and postal services, he said.

"We also need to control the cost of providing services to remain a viable business."

The company was talking to Picton retailers and other businesses about becoming a franchisee. Postal and banking services in Picton would not be affected while the search for a new provider was under way, Andrews said.

A New Zealand Post spokeswoman said it was unlikely the Picton PostShop would close if it was unable to find a buyer.

"We are confident it will be bought," she said.

NZ Post has a number of franchised outlets in Marlborough, including Springlands PostShop on Middle Renwick Rd.

Springlands PostShop co-owner Susan Bugler said whoever took on the business in Picton would be in a good position as it was the only franchise in the community.

She believed customers at the new shop would get good service as the franchised shops were privately owned and business focused.

At least six other businesses in Marlborough operated a New Zealand Post service from their premises, including in Seddon, Spring Creek, and Renwick.

The Marlborough Express