Desborough Post Office and store have been modernised in a major refurbishment combining the two adjoining shops into one large, modern premises.
Regular customer Belinda Humfrey, who is chairman of the Desborough Civic Society, cut the ribbon at the official opening of the new-look Post Office and convenience store in Havelock Street, Desborough, on Tuesday.
Nitin Popat, who has been Postmaster for 11 years decided to combine his two businesses by removing the wall between the two shops and to modernise throughout.
Mrs Humfrey said: “I was delighted to be asked to officially open the branch.
“Mr Popat is an excellent Postmaster and the Post Office and adjacent shop have been a valued part of Desborough for a number of years.
“Now they are combined it is even better.
The longer opening hours make it more convenient for people with busy lives to visitNitin Popat
“Desborough Post Office and store really are at the centre of our community.”
The main Post Office counters will be open Monday to Saturday from 9am until 5.30pm, with selected Post Office products and services available from the retail counter during the shop opening hours on Monday to Saturday from 7am until 5.30pm, and on Sunday from 7am until midday.
Opening hours have increased by 22 hours a week, including Sunday morning and Saturday afternoon.
The branch is also opening significantly earlier, giving customers more choice when to visit.
Mr Popat said: “Customers love the new Post Office.
“They like the fact that everything is light, bright and new.
“The open-plan counters make it far easier for staff and customers to have conversations.
“The longer opening hours make it more convenient for people with busy lives to visit.
“Having both the Post Office and store in one shop makes it easier to manage and easier for customers to buy groceries and their Post Office transactions with the new combined layout.”
The new-look Desborough Post Office offers residents and small business customers a wide range of Post Office and mails services, including international parcels, Special Delivery and home shopping returns, car tax renewal, pay bills, buy holiday money and top up mobile phones.
Alan Ridoutt, Post Office area manager, said: “This modernisation is part of a major investment programme, the largest in the history of the Post Office. The investment marks a commitment to no more branch closure programmes.
“We are making it easier for customers to get their cash, send and collect their mail and do their banking because we know how important these services are to local residents.”