RESIDENTS in Christchurch were saddened to find out that the Purewell Cross post office is due to close.

Staff at the shop have confirmed that McColls is planning to close both the shop in Somerford Road and the post office within the store in July.

The reason given was “financial considerations”, as the shop has reportedly struggled with competition from two other convenience stores at Purewell Cross, both of which have recently been updated.

One resident said: “It would appear that gone are the days of the post office being considered a community necessity, if they don’t make money they have to go.

“It is a great tragedy as there has apparently been a post office in Purewell for over 100 years and the current staff have considerable experience, show a kindness and a very high level of civic duty and pride in their service, which seems to be sadly missing elsewhere these days.

“They are concerned about how some of their older or more vulnerable customers will find it more difficult to access their finances and pay their bills locally.”

The current post office staff are said to have worked there for more than 65 years between them, with the two managers having each worked there for some 25 years each.

The closure of the store in Purewell will mean the nearest post office for most local residents will require a trip to Saxon Square, to Sauflands or into Highcliffe. There is a smaller retail counter in Bure Lane.

An employee at the store said: “The post office closure will be more of an inconvenience for people, so many people rely on it.

“If you have a car, you are alright but for people without transport, it is going to be difficult for them.”

The store at Purewell Cross was in high demand when the post office in Christchurch town centre was closed for more than a year, and when Highcliffe had to close and relocate.

Now that Christchurch town centre has two post offices in Saxon Square and Stour Road, as well as stores in Bure, Burton and Saulfland, the reliance on the Purewell post office has reportedly decreased.

Many people took to social media to express their sadness.

A spokesperson for McColl’s said: “Having explored all options, regretfully we have taken the difficult decision to cease trading at the McColl’s store on Somerford Road in Christchurch. The store’s last day of trading will be Friday, July 24. We are saddened to no longer be operating the store and our priority has been to support all affected colleagues.”