Two Thanet couples, who are friends, have opened Post Offices in their convenience stores on the same day.
Craig Mackinlay, MP for South Thanet “cut the ribbon” on Monday (October 22) to officially open branches at Newington and High Street, Broadstairs.
Both branches opened to the public on September 24, Mr Mackinlay performed the official openings at both branches on the same day.
Dimpal and Hiren Patel have opened Newington Post Office at Rams News & Off Licence, 73 Newington Road.
The couple took on the newsagents and convenience store last year and they were asked by customers if they would consider taking on a Post Office as the Newington branch had closed in May 2017 due to operational reasons. After settling in they decided to apply for a Post Office.
Dimpal Patel said: “As soon as we took on the shop customers asked us to apply to take on a Post Office and we decided it was a really good idea. Our customers are very happy as many had been getting taxis to get to the nearest Post Office. They are very happy with the longer hours.”
Their family friends Avani and Jalpesh Patel, who run Londis convenience store 5 High Street, Broadstairs, were also asked by their customers if they would consider taking on a Post Office when York Street Post Office closed in January 2018 due to the resignation of the Postmaster.
Jalpesh Patel, said: “Customers think it is really good that they have a Post Office again and they are really pleased that we have taken on a Post Office as people had to walk up a hill to the nearest branch.”
Mr Mackinlay said: “It is great news that Newington and High Street, Broadstairs branches have opened in popular convenience stores with experienced retailers. Post Offices are at the heart of communities, so it is great that Post Office services have been restored and that both branches have impressive opening hours – much longer than before.”
High Street Post Office offers two Post Office counters alongside the retail counter and the branch is open throughout their store’s opening hours: Monday to Saturday: 7am – 9pm; Sunday: 7am – 5pm.
Newington Post Office is open Monday to Sunday: 6am – 8pm. Newington also has on demand Euros and Dollars.