The ACS has warned of a further drop in sub post office numbers unless the Post Office Network makes the prospect of taking on a post office more appealing to independent retailers. In a new report, the ACS Post Office Committee claims retailers' relationships with the PON are "one sided, unduly restrictive and old fashioned". It calls for a review of contracts which prevent retailers from striking deals outside of those negotiated by the PON on services such as ATMs and the National Lottery. "Even retailers with little buying power can achieve better terms than those negotiated by Post Office Network," says the report. If a store includes a post office, PON takes 20% of the retailer's lottery commission. "These restrictions are contrary to usual business activity and act as a disincentive to investment." Spar retailer Denis Lawrence, who runs two stores in mid Wales with post offices attached, said the recent abolition of sub post office licence fees charged by PON to retailers was a positive step. But he said he wouldn't recommend anyone to take on a post office at the moment. "The PON has worked with us recently to help train staff in new services and we've been proactively advertising services like travel insurance. "But we're not really making any money out of it at all. When we took over the local post office in Builth Wells two years ago, we even had to buy the post box and the sign." ACS public affairs spokesman James Lowman said: "The PO is still a very strong brand, which has the potential to bring people into c-stores and to add value to the total retail offer. But the relationship between the Post Office and c-stores has to be modernised." {{NEWS }}