A lot has changed about Wicklow Town over the years. The economic downturn that closed out the naughties led to businesses coming and going and continuing to do so. Advancements in communication technologies have led to media turning from the printing press to the world wide web.
However, one thing that has remained the same is the Wicklow Post Office. 2018 marks 10 years since the business became a contract office – a strategy that has been adopted by many similar institutions across Ireland.
The Postmistress for the branch, Jackie Roche, has been working with Wicklow Post Office for 20 years despite having the contract for the past 10.
Sat next to the window overlooking the Mall discussing the business reaching the 10-year mark, she describes the achievement as ‘massive’ but the leap from being an employee with An Post to being self-employed as Postmaster does not escape her.
“I have great staff and up until November, the four of us who started ten years ago were still there and now there’s still three of us. I think it is a credit to them that, without them, it wouldn’t have been such a smooth journey,” she says.
The post industry has been changed massively by advancements in communication technologies, an evolution that does not escape Jackie.
“We’re up against it with technology. […] In some ways it is working to our advantage because the post, packet-wise, has gone up. The volumes have gone up with packets.
“The technology is for everybody’s safety. It’s for the customers and it is for ourselves. […] They don’t bring in anything new just to make things awkward.”
With the advancements in online shipping, such as Amazon, and communications technology, such as email and social media, it is a rather uncertain time for post offices around Ireland.
However, Jackie believes that there is still an important role to play for them.
“In towns like this, for sure, we’ll always have a post office. I like to think there will be as many around the country as there are now but I don’t know if that’s possible.”
A common issue that Jackie brings up is the age demographic of the post office’s customer base, a demographic which is getting older.
“Some of our customers are getting older but they always try to get in because their pension is very important to them. It’s their independence. It’s their money. So no matter how difficult things have got for them, older people will try to make it in.
“You get a few young people in posting letters but some people come in and ask me ‘where do I put the address?’ or ‘do you sell stamps here?’. They just don’t know.”
An Post have started several initiatives in order to adapt to the evolving technological climate, such as the Smart Current Account, Post Mobile and Post Insurance – initiatives which she hopes will help sustain the business for years to come.
As our conversation came to an end, Jackie reserved special gratitude for the customers who have been so loyal to the office.
“The success of the Post office relies on the support of our regular customers. We appreciate their business and hope that we continue to meet their needs in the future.”
To celebrate their 10th anniversary, Wicklow Post Office are offering you a chance to win a Postmobile phone PLUS €20 Postmobile credit!
There are two FREE and simple ways to enter:
- Pay any utility bill free of charge at Wicklow Post Office. They offer a great service that allows you to pay a number of different bills including TV, electricity, gas, or Local Authority payments.
- Drop in and get a quote for home/life/car insurance as part of their new Post Insurance service.
For more details or to enter, call into Wicklow Post Office.