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Royal Mail launches the hugely popular Santa Mail to help deliver the nation’s letters to Father Christmas

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With just a few weeks to go until Christmas, Royal Mail is once again lending a helping hand to one of its most special customers, Father Christmas.

For 58 years, Royal Mail has been helping to make Christmas wishes come true by sending children’s letters to the North Pole.

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Now Santa’s team of helpers at Royal Mail is gearing up to deliver the hundreds of thousands of letters sent to him by children from all across the UK. 

Axelle Galera, Royal Mail Chief Elf, who ensures children’s letters reach Santa at his grotto in Reindeerland in the North Pole, said: “Royal Mail plays a very special part in the nation’s Christmas preparations. We are proud that for 58 years, Santa has allowed us to help manage the hundreds of thousands of special letters he receives from boys and girls across the country. 

“His special team of elves at Royal Mail especially enjoy taking a peek at what children are asking for as well as helping Santa reply to these special letters. Don’t forget to include your full name and address on your letter so Santa can reply to you!”

Later this month, Royal Mail will reveal the definitive guide to what children actually want for Christmas, with a ‘Top 10’ list of the most wished for toys, in a unique poll based on the children’s own letters.

To ensure Santa receives your letter on time, please make sure you write to him, using the correct address, on a stamped envelope.

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Santa/Father Christmas,
Santa’s Grotto,
Reindeerland,
XM4 5HQ

Santa is happy to receive your cards and letters now but because of the very busy Christmas ahead, children should post their letters no later than Friday 10 December 2021.

For letters and parcels to other places in the UK, the latest recommended posting dates for Christmas 2021 are:

Saturday 18 December for 2nd Class, 2nd Class Signed For and Royal Mail 48®
Tuesday 21 December for1st Class, 1st Class Signed For and Royal Mail 24®
Thursday 23 December for Special Delivery Guaranteed®

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Royal Mail

A new era for stamps: Shaun the Sheep features in UK’s first “video stamp”

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Royal Mail have announced that following a successful national trial, it is adding unique barcodes to all its Definitive stamps.

The move is part of the Company’s extensive and ongoing modernisation drive and will allow the unique barcodes to facilitate operational efficiencies, enable the introduction of added security features and pave the way for innovative services for customers.

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Scan the App for an exclusive video featuring Shaun the Sheep

Recipients of mail featuring a barcoded stamp can watch an exclusive video by scanning the stamps in the Royal Mail App. The video features Shaun the Sheep, created exclusively for Royal Mail by the multi-award-winning British animation studio, Aardman. The video is the first in a series of planned videos to be released during 2022 that will allow customers sending stamped mail to choose which video the recipient can see when they receive an item of mail.

The new barcoded stamps will have a digital twin and the two will be connected by the Royal Mail App. The barcodes match the stamp colour and sit alongside the main body of the stamp, separated by a simulated perforation line.

Definitive stamps are the regular ‘everyday’ stamps featuring the profile of HM The Queen created by the sculptor Arnold Machin. The design has changed very little since it was introduced in June 1967. The image has become one of the most iconic pieces of artwork in the world and has been reproduced in excess of 175 billion times.

Old stamps to expire

Non-barcoded Definitive and Christmas stamps will remain valid until 31 January 2023. Customers are encouraged to use their non-barcoded stamps before this date. Alternatively, non-barcoded stamps can be exchanged for the new barcoded version through Royal Mail’s ‘Swap Out’ scheme.

The ‘Swap Out’ scheme will open on 31 March 2022. Customers will be able send unused stamps via a Freepost address. Forms will be available via a variety of channels, including: local Customer Service Points; the Royal Mail website and via our Customer Experience team. Further details will be announced shortly.

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Nick Landon, Royal Mail Chief Commercial Officer said: “Introducing unique barcodes on our postage stamps allows us to connect the physical letter with the digital world and opens up the possibilities for a range of new innovative services in future.”

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Royal Mail

No printer? No problem! Royal Mail will now bring labels and collect your parcel from your door

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The move enables customers without a printer to feel the benefit of Parcel Collect, where posties collect parcels for delivery while carrying out their delivery round.

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The plans to deliver pre-printed labels are also aimed at bringing even more convenience to customers who are increasingly time-poor and may not want to leave home to drop off a parcel or wait in queues – especially during the cold winter months. As the festive season approaches, it promises to be one of the most convenient ways to post presents this Christmas.

Under Parcel Collect, customers arrange for their postie to collect their parcel from their doorstep. Customers using the service simply have to book a collection online (https://www.royalmail.com/collection) then signal whether they would like to order a self-adhesive, pre-printed postage label to affix to their parcel*. As part of the service, postmen and postwomen will collect a parcel from the customer’s door or nominated safe place.

Through Parcel Collect, Royal Mail collects from customers at their doorstep as part of our postmen and women’s daily round, which means no additional vehicles on the road resulting in fewer additional emissions and less congestion. With the UK’s largest “Feet on the Street” network of over 85,000 postmen and women, Royal Mail already has the lowest reported CO2e emissions per parcel amongst major UK delivery companies. 

As well as offering even higher levels of convenience, Parcel Collect enables online sellers and online shoppers to mail or return a pre-paid item by post from the comfort of their own home. Parcel Collect is available six days a week and can be booked up to five days in advance and up to midnight the day before. Parcel Collect is currently priced at 60p per item, inclusive of VAT, in addition to postage costs.

Nick Landon, Chief Commercial Officer at Royal Mail, said: “Every day our posties walk past every house in the country at about the same time. People know when their postie is going to deliver and now they can send or return parcels at the same time. If people aren’t going to be in, they can leave their item in a safe place for our postie to collect it and now if they don’t have a printer at home, they can ask their postie to bring the label with them. How convenient is that! As the nights continue to draw in and the weather gets worse, why go out when you can stay safe and warm and leave the hard work to your friendly local postie. And even better, many of our deliveries and collections are carried out by posties who walk their rounds – the greenest way to send and return.”

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The nationwide launch of label-less collections follows a trial of the service in four areas of the UK earlier in the year.

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Business

Post Office launches first ever loyalty scheme for parcel senders

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Post Office has launched its first ever loyalty scheme with financial rewards for users of its free, fast-track Drop & Go service.

Drop & Go customers increased fourfold in the run-up to last Christmas. The service is popular with small businesses, marketplace sellers and customers who started ‘bedroom businesses’ during the lockdowns. Approximately two thirds of marketplace sellers rely on Post Office’s 11,500 branches for their customers’ parcels.

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Post Office will now reward customers that spend £100 or more per month with the Drop & Go service during November and December at their local branch.

Nick Read, Chief Executive at the Post Office, said: “The parcel market will see fierce trading throughout the critical Christmas period and Post Office will challenge for increased share with our first ever loyalty scheme for customers. Our physical presence in every local community across the UK, combined with the expert knowledge and advice Postmasters provide regarding postage, means we are well placed to support small and independent businesses during the busiest time of the year.”

The loyalty scheme has been created in partnership with Postmasters, who have also helped improve Drop & Go with new users able to access their account instantly with a simpler customer journey.

Post Office is launching a multi-channel marketing campaign: a partnership with eBay; advertising across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter; a Google My Business campaign; and advertising on podcasts popular with small and medium enterprises.

How the loyalty scheme works

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There are two “Reward Periods” (1 November- 30 November 2021 and 1 December – 31 December 2021). Existing or new customers need to spend at least £100 in one or both of the Reward Periods. Whatever is spent over £100 (regardless of the number of parcels or price of parcels) during each Reward Period will earn the customer a reward that can be redeemed to their Drop & Go account.

In the first week after each Reward Period has ended, the customer will receive confirmation of the value of their promotional reward along with a barcode that can be used in their local branch to apply credit to the customer’s Drop & Go account. The loyalty scheme ends on 31 December 2021.

(Lead image: Post Office)

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