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The Finnish state-owned postal service provider Posti has said negotiations will begin this month to discuss cost-cutting measures resulting from declining letter volumes.

The idea is to close some of Posti’s own outlets in 2019–2020 and to open other service points. According to a preliminary estimate, the company said it needs to reduce its staff by a maximum of 124 permanent employees. The change would be carried out gradually by the end of 2020.

The company said: “Posti needs to reduce costs by at least approximately EUR 150–200 million over the next three years. These cost savings would be required due to the substantial decline in letter and publication volumes alone.

“The need for savings is based on changing customer needs as well as the costs of Posti’s own outlets – central locations or flexible opening hours cannot be maintained in a cost-effective manner. A total of 97% of Posti’s retail network is made up of service points maintained by Posti’s partners, i.e. service points set up in connection with different service providers. The cooperation negotiations do not concern service points maintained by Posti’s partners.

“The cooperation negotiations related to the planned changes will begin in early April.”

Posti said it is in the process of renewing its retail network in accordance with the demands imposed by e-commerce growth and changing customer needs. The number of Posti’s service points is increasing – according to plans there will be over 2700 service points by 2020.

Lasse Huttunen, Director of Retail Network commented: “The current renewal measures are based on significant changes in the way people move, spend their time and use services. Our customers want to use the postal service in connection with taking care of other errands, such as buying groceries. Finns appreciate easy services.”

“We expect to see further e-commerce growth. Over the past decade, the number of Posti’s service points has more than doubled, mostly due to parcel lockers. As the number of lockers continues to grow and customers have constant access to our digital services, Posti’s services are even closer to customers than before,” he adds.

The plans apply to 21 of Posti outlets in Helsinki, Vantaa, Espoo, Lahti, Turku, Pori, Tampere, Kouvola, Mikkeli, Lappeenranta, Lemi, Vaasa, Kuopio and Rovaniemi. The planned changes do not apply to the Main Post Office in Helsinki, the outlet located in the city centre of Jyväskylä or the outlet located at the Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi.