POST Luxembourg has launched "Espace POST" - the new shop concept combining postal, financial and telecom services in a one-stop shop.
"Contemporary post offices must be able to provide customers with all of POST Luxembourg's services in a modern and friendly atmosphere in one place."
- POST General Director Claude Strasser
The first "Espace POST" opened in the Mercier building at Luxembourg-Gare in early August. It replaced the previous post office and the former telecom shop in the Gare area in Luxembourg city.
According to POST Luxembourg, surveys have shown that customers want extended opening hours at post offices. The new post office model is open Monday to Friday from 7am to 7pm, as well as Saturdays from 9am to 6pm.
The second "Espace POST" is set to open its doors late September in the Shopping Mile Nordstrooss in Marnach.
So what's special about Espace POST?
Each of the new "Espace POST" stores is divided into three zones: Express, Self-Service, and Connect.
The Express zone is set up for customers to do postal and financial transactions quickly and easily. POST Luxembourg is aiming for reduced queuing times for customers in the Express zone.
Customer waiting times during peak times "remain a challenge", according to POST Luxembourg.
There's a Self-Service zone, of course. Here customers can buy a range of POST Luxembourg products including stamps, packaging, and products such as smartphone accessories. Purchases can be made via self-serve terminals. The Self-Service zone also features an ATM.
The Connect zone is perhaps the most interesting part of the new post office concept.
In this part of the store, customers receive advice from POST employees on all questions related to telecommunications contracts or the latest smartphone offers. Customers are met at reception by an employee and accompanied throughout the entire Connect zone. Counselling and contract signatures can take place in the specially designed lounges.
An emphasis on telephony
The Espace POST layout is similar to mobile phone shops you might find in a city centre or mall. This isn't too surprising, as POST Luxembourg operates a mobile phone network.
It's not just mobile either - POST Luxembourg owns its fixed telephone infrastructure and offers broadband internet. So it makes sense for these retail stores to have a strong emphasis on serving customers who want communications services.
A bank of parcel lockers (see photo in the gallery above) inside the Espace POST shop part of POST Luxembourg's network of over 80 PackUp lockers nationwide. Other locker installations are located outdoors, giving customers access 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The lockers inside the post office can only be accessed during working hours.
(And yes, PackUp lockers can be used for e-commerce returns.)
Some postal operators (such as Australia Post) are offering 24-hour self-service zones attached to some concept stores. Postal products such as prepaid envelopes and satchels are available via vending machines, and parcels can be collected from parcel lockers.
Is round-the-clock access the next step for Espace POST?
Photos courtesy of POST Luxembourg.