UK's Post Office Starts Custom Pub

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The Post Office launched a custom-published magazine Monday that it claims will be the biggest in-store publication in the United Kingdom.


The publication, called Sorted, is produced in partnership with Condé Nast Publications Ltd. It also includes investment from advertisers.


The Post Office, a division of Royal Mail, is Britain's largest retail and financial services chain. With 14,500 branches, about 94 percent of the UK population lives within a mile of a Post Office branch, and 28 million customers visit weekly.


In conjunction with partners, the Post Office offers 170 products including travel and financial services (including personal loans, car, home and travel insurance and a new "2 in 1" credit card), banking services, bill payments, HomePhone (its home telephone service), gift vouchers and cards, lottery products, license applications, phone cards and postal services. It is also the UK's largest supplier of foreign currency and a leading provider of travel insurance.


With the publication, the Post Office enters an industry worth $600 million and having 700 titles. Sorted's print run is 3 million.


Sorted contains features and snippets plus tips about what's available over the counter. It will be available for people at Post Office branches and will be displayed on a variety of stands, depending on the size of the outlet.


The free magazine has been designed in response to research that found customers wanted to know more about what was offered at the Post Office.


The publication is also the latest tactic in Post Office's strategy to promote its products and services. According to the company, nearly half of the 28 million people who use the Post Office weekly are from the ABC1 sector, a demographic group in the UK defined by occupation that is commonly targeted by media and advertising companies.


"Our business is changing: The sheer variety of our products and services, like car insurance and HomePhone, demands a clear guide for our customers to get the best out of us -- and the best for them," said Crispin Beales, Post Office director of customer experience.


Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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