The Royal Mail certainly picked a good time to announce the rise in its first and second class stamps! We’re now all too focused on the threat of a pending fuel crisis at the petrol pumps and the impact on our day to day lives of our cars running dry, to stop and consider the impact of what is a considerable hike in the price of sending mail. And yet this has serious implications not only for us as consumers, but how will this affect our own printing industry….?
According to the official notice from the Royal Mail [http://www.royalmail.com/customer-service/customer-news] “We know how hard it is for households and businesses when our economy is as tough as it is now. We have thought very carefully about the impact on our customers and on our own business before deciding to raise our prices.”
After such an introduction, the significant increases come as something of a shock. At the end of April, the cost of a first class stamp will rise from 46p to 60p, and a second class stamp will increase from 36p to 50p. These increases represent rises of 30% and 38% respectively. They have certainly ‘thought very carefully about the impact’.
So how will this affect us all? I’m sure there will be many consumers who will think again about sending letters and cards, especially at Christmas time….what better excuse than to strike off the list all your long lost acquaintances and so-called friends that you don’t see from one year to another. We may choose to send less letters and cards, opting for electronic alternatives. But this will undoubtedly have an impact on the direct mail business, which in turn will affect commercial printers.
While I review my own birthday card list for the coming months, I confess I too have been thinking whether every recipient is worthy. Fortunately, my love of hard copy print has got the better of me, and I for one will continue to send cards to friends and family. After all for me, there is still no comparison to the delight of opening mail (that doesn’t come in a brown envelope) to that of a mere click on a text or email inbox.