Dear Royal Mail

With a season of strike action at Royal Mail, CEO Nigel Copp puts forward his perspective.

Dear Royal Mail – an open letter,

I really do feel for Royal Mail staff and management trying to resolve your differences to stop the current strike actions. In my industry, mailing, we are desperate for this relationship to be reconciled and an agreement made. And for service to get back to normal – whatever that may look like.

I’m sad to say there is a knock-on effect on us, your client/distributors, and the postal clients that use our collective services. Of course, this is the point of strikes – to cause disruption. But understandably, customers are being put off and cancelling mailings due to the strikes because of the risk of missed deadlines and crucial mailing drop dates.

This means less work for me, less volume and importantly – revenue for Royal Mail and the Unions to share among workers and shareholders. I know this is stating the obvious, but as a supporter of RM and their services and staff for almost my entire career, it is proving to be one of the most frustrating periods my business has ever experienced.

What I find totally bewildering and quite frankly incredulous, is that Royal Mail is looking to focus and grow its parcel business – to the detriment of its letter mail business which has been its main product and kept them in business since its inception.

Why try and compete in an over-saturated market, competing with massive organisations like Amazon for this work? Why not focus on letter mail, which Royal Mail pretty much have a monopoly on delivering? They should look to expand this service, giving clients the ability to use this very effective and sustainable media alongside digital to deliver messaging straight into people’s homes.

In 2021, direct mail advertising spending in the UK reached close to £1.1 billion, experiencing a growth of 19%. [Statista, May 2022]

My advice, for what it’s worth, drop the price, don’t increase it and continue with volume discounts. Make it easy for marketing professionals and mail service providers to use you and grow the channel. Make it competitive – we all know it is effective.

As Jerry Maguire said, ‘help me to help you’. In all seriousness, as a billion-pound industry we are ready and waiting, don’t let us down.

The paradox RM face is that in the fight for parcel market share, this disruption is enabling rival providers to happily grow their share, at the expense of Royal Mail. They are happy to take RM’s parcel business while they are on strike! And this work will not return!! Madness.

– Nigel Copp, CEO

In 2021, Royal Mail held the highest share in the courier market in the UK with a market share of 27 percent. Meanwhile, with a market share of 12 percent each, Amazon Logistics and Hermes are emerging as big players in the UK parcel market. [Statista, Nov 2022]

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