Story & photos:Tahira Khan
Local Resident, Asif, the owner of the Post Office in Fir Vale recalls how 4 years ago business was doing well but now people seem to be moving to online services; by his estimation sales have halved. To get the Post Office back in business he is introducing a range of brand new products.
These include ‘Ikhlas’ religious lifestyle products such as books, children’s clothing and prayer mats and a variety of other items including handbags, gifts, jewellery, scarves and even sewing equipment.
Asif desires to bring these goods to local consumers at the cheapest possible prices and says he has already received feedback from customers claiming they have seen similar products elsewhere at higher prices. An example of the incredible value for money that has already gained a lot of interest is the four scarves for £10 offer introduced two weeks ago. He also plans to keep the store open longer on weekends.
The Post Office plays a vital role in the community; many people use it to collect pensions, welfare payments or pay the bills as well as the hugely important postal service. People come in to ask for advice and, contrary to what some people may think, there are still customers asking for stamps and the Moneygram service allows local residents to send money to their families abroad.
The Post Office is vital for businesses in Fir Vale bringing customers to stores nearby and it was under the ownership of Asif that the Post Office introduced “free cash machine services at a time when there were none in the area,”, showing how it has always been one step ahead, providing customers with services they need.
As owner for nearly 7 years Asif is familiar with many customers and has inevitably gained a lot of expertise in the running of the store. It is clear that it would be a loss for the community if he had no other option but to step down and pass on the Post Office.