Royal Mail are delighted to be working with Post Office Ltd on their Christmas Stamp Shop. This Pop Up Post Office is a large mobile trailer that will tour some of the major shopping locations around the UK in the run up to Christmas.
The Post Office will be selling Christmas Stamps and Smilers. In addition, Royal Mail’s own Post and Go terminal will be vending Post and Go stamps. The truck will be open from 11 am - 7 pm
Full details are listed below:
· Post and Go Stamps: Robins (MA13) and 2nd Class (MA12) - not MA13* §§
· There is no overprint
· Receipts will be unique to each venue
· The Smilers sheets will be available in 10 and 20 stamp sheets with the following designs available:
o Madonna and Child 1st
and 2nd class - no 2nd class
o Christmas 2012 Santa 1st Class may be available dependant on early demand
§§ Well, so much for official information sources. If this is a foretaste of what we can expect now that Royal Mail and Post Office Ltd are split, and external contractors are involved, the future looks to be full of confusion.
After the original MA13 report was countered by Royal Mail, yesterday evening I received a report that the MA13 2nd class Faststamps had indeed been purchased at Newcastle on day 1, for a brief period. Evidence from eBay and another blog shows that MA12 stock was loaded in both machines initially but that MA13 stock was loaded part-way through the morning of 20 November (Day 1).
I delayed reporting this initially because I wanted to find out whether the stamps were available from both machines and whether our representative on the road had was able to secure any for our customers. (My initial thought was that he might not have made the journey when the 'no MA13' correction was made.) I now believe that we may be able to secure some and make some FDCs for our customers. More news to those customers later. I've been told that only 2 rolls (of 1500 labels) were available. But that does not mean that there may be more later depending on usage - by Shepherds Bush who knows what might be available.
MINT NOW IN STOCK ON OUR WEBSHOP - FDCs now in!
UPDATE 26 NOV: An pair of stamps listed on eBay bought at Glasgow on Sunday morning (24th) is reported to have MA13 code, and we have since had reliable information that MA12 was available on Saturday, but MA13 was on sale on Sunday. Both MA12 and MA13 were available at Liverpool.
Thanks to Mike, here are some pictures from Newcastle:
Click on the 'receipt' image to see a larger version.
UPDATE 9 DECEMBER:
Thanks to several contributors for this information.
Glasgow: 23 November both machines had MA12 2nd class. 24th November MA13 loaded and session numbers 2536(A3) and 2569(A4) obtained.
5th December: Machine A3 had MA13 Robins and MA13 2nd class and A4 had MA13 Robins and MA12 2nd class. After 2pm - the 2nd class roll MA13 was now sitting in A4 and A3 was holding the MA12.
Visited twice on the 5th and once on the 6th. Business was slow on the 1st day with no crowds and no queueThe system was in use by the public but not in any quantity and used mainly for an individual value e.g. a Christmas card to Canada or a letter to Hong Kong. Sales push was with the Smilers and as these were ordered through the machine each sale would be logged and go on the final total figure so even though there might have been 40 transactions it would include the Smiler requests.
I am surprised that this wandering trailer - we used to know them as Mobile Post Offices - is making such a passing visit to each location. Last year, Post Office Ltd announced that the pop-up post office (which opened on 30 November) was:
"The first of its kind to be found in the UK is located in Camden Market and is showcasing a range of collectible and retail items. The Pop Up shop will be open seven days a week and customers will benefit from extensive opening hours as well as a range of services including posting and packaging. To help make life easier for customers a gift wrapping service is also available with all donations going to BBC Children in Need."
I haven't had a formal statement from Post Office Ltd about the rationale behind the tour, but understand that the focus is on selling stamps - expect there to be blow-ups of the competition winners designs - and instant Smilers. There will be no counter services, no Horizon system, though there may be a posting box, presumably with mail to be offloaded into the local mail distribution system. So although they are described as post offices, they are really just post office retail units.
There is no doubt that - despite initial difficulties in actually finding it - customers made the Camden unit a great success. The new mobile trailers - to be located in major shopping streets or covered shopping centres - will stand out. It seems they won't be tucked away in an otherwise vacant corner. But can the same sort of success be replicated when the unit is only in one place for two days?
By chance the Camden unit's turnover included significant philatelic sales as collectors and dealers found definitive stamps not previously available from Royal Mail's Tallents House bureau or from many post office branches, and further supplies were made available as collectors bought up initial stocks. Philatelic sales will be far lower (pro rata) at these venues than at Camden last year,
Some pictures from our readers - many thanks Doug, !
The leaflet given out in the Covent Garden area:
and Covent Garden from John