How Will the Sale of Royal Mail Affect Your Business?

Despite public misgivings, Royal Mail looks set to be sold to private investors. post_boxIt is an unprecedented move.  Not even Margaret Thatcher sought to privatise the mail service saying she was “‘not prepared to have the Queen’s head privatised.” With the sale expected to go ahead by 2014, what could this change mean for small businesses that use Royal Mail every day?

Possible effects

The best case scenario is that the reputation of Royal Mail is so substantial that no company will risk being associated with its decline. With a private company seeking to drive profits, this could also help cut down on the bureaucracy within the system, leading to a more efficient and nimble postal service. Reacting quickly to problems would also lead to an improvement with services and private companies depending on positive customer relations to keep their profits healthy.

But many postal workers and regular users of the Royal Mail are expecting a worst-case scenario. Some online protesters claim that this privatisation will lead to a £1 first class stamp and price increases to all other services. They have also predicted a reduction in rural services, arguing that if Royal Mail were to be run based entirely on profit then why keep unprofitable services on-going? In fact, when profit is the only driver, who’s to say that other services won’t be cut?


The reality is that the responsibilities of Royal Mail are unlikely to change and that the government will be taking strict measures to ensure that full coverage of the British Isles continues. Worries about the future price of services, such as stamps, carry more weight. Many point to the privatisation of the railways in the 90’s which lead to higher costs but questionable improvements in services. Royal Mail is used by many small businesses as a primary supplier of business post and packaging services. It is a critical  first rung on the business ladder. What are SMEs to do if such a vital first step is removed?

Finally, the impact of the Royal Mail goes far beyond its customers. The red letter box is seen by many as an important part of our cultural heritage and landscape. The idea that that cultural landscape could soon be in the hands of faceless international companies is a step too far for many. What do you think? What could it mean for your business if any of these potential changes came into force? Is this a change too far or will privatising Royal Mail shake up the postal service for the better?

This article is part of a sponsored service for Prowess 2.0 – Women in Business readers, from



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The Royal Mail Sale Summary

Possible Positives

  • Focus on profit could jumpstart improvements within the service.
  • Customer service could become a higher priority for the organization.
  • It may lead to fewer strikes and less disruption to services.

Possible Negatives

  • Loss-making rural services may be reduced.
  • Potential for price increases.
  • Fears of a loss of identity both for the distinctively British company and a loss to Britain’s heritage.





1 thought on “How Will the Sale of Royal Mail Affect Your Business?”

  1. If/When Royal Mail is sold then it’s highly likely that prices will increase and services will be reduced. This will have a negative effect on a lot of marketing campaigns for companies, but could provide a boost to Mailing Houses such as ourselves.


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