Australia Post has launched a range of new services in the hope of finding solutions to common problems Aussies face every day.
The company on Monday launched its first Community Hub @ Post, which has transformed the historic Orange Post Office in the NSW Central Tablelands into a modern retail space.
While it offers the community a new central hub, it will also be the solution for a range of common post-related problems.
One of the most promising features includes three change rooms for customers to try their new online-shopping purchases on.
If unhappy with the purchase, customers can arrange a return on the spot while still in the post office, providing a solution to having to find the time to send back returns from home.
Over the past 18 months, Australia Post has designed the space to have distinct zones to support retail customers, business operators and locals, while including new features.
For those used to long lines at the front desk, digital queuing allows customers to scan a QR code and receive a text when it’s their turn, allowing them to relax or browse the store.
An onsite barista will be serving coffees all day, while music in the store will be strictly all-Australian.
There will also be a dedicated area to allow small business owners to sort, wrap and send orders.
The hub will also have an area for online retailers and small businesses to showcase and sell products, with a rotation allowing new business to be showcased each season.
An Australian Makers Collection will include a product range from strictly Aussie creators.
In addition to the new features, Community Hub @ Post will continue to offer the full range of existing services, including parcel lockers, banking services and all letter mailings.
Australia Post Group chief executive and managing director Paul Graham said the new community hub transformed the post office into a modern, retail experience beneficial for remote Aussies.
“Today is a landmark day for Australia Post as we reimagine the post office for the future,” Mr Graham said.
“Every day our network of over 4000 post offices plays an important role in connecting Australians, particularly in regional and remote Australia.”
He said the company was “reinventing” how the post office operated to support the changing needs of customers.
Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said the hub was a win for local consumers and small businesses in Orange.
“It’s fantastic to see the new community hub in Orange up and running,” she said on Monday.
“This is a great example of Australia Post modernising their business to meet community needs and will help connect small businesses with new customers and make sending and receiving parcels even easier for locals.”
Australia Post has plans to open more community hub locations at Williamstown in Victoria, Burnie in Tasmania and Noosa Heads in Queensland.
Mr Graham said the Orange launch would allow the company to assess what resonated with customers and adapt the approach for other rollouts in the future.