Post Office

Source: Post Office

It will retain 17 Post Office sites across its company-owned estate

CJ Lang is removing Post Office counters from 31 company-owned stores over the next six months.

The decision follows 18 months of negotiations with the Post Office after the Scottish Spar operator found it was not “viable” to continue offering the service.

It will retain 17 Post Office sites across its company-owned estate.

The Dundee-based wholesaler said the move had come about because of the industry-wide pressures on retail outlets as it “evolves to keep up with changing consumer habits”.

“It is unfortunate that we find ourselves in the position of having to change the services we offer over the next six months,” said a CJ Lang spokeswoman.

“As part of the Spar Scotland company-owned stores estate, we will continue to invest in our staff to ensure our stores serve the communities in which they are based.

“We are constantly reviewing the services within our stores and the impact that Post Office counters have on our overall store operations.”

A Post Office spokesman said: “We are disappointed that CJ Lang announced that the Post Office counters they operate on our behalf will close at a number of their stores. The decision to close these counters has been taken solely by CJ Lang.

“Post Offices play an important role in the heart of local communities across Scotland and we have worked closely with CJ Lang for a number of months to help keep open essential Post Office services for their customers. This included working together to develop tailored solutions to address their needs and support them in the challenging retail climate.”

The Post Office expressed concern over older and disabled people accessing the service. It said it would look for replacement solutions both on a temporary or permanent basis for those branches that closed.

“We are awaiting formal confirmation about the timescales for the affected branches before we inform local communities impacted,” the Post Office spokesman added.