There’s a new box in town…

| October 24, 2012 | 0 Comments
John Marquis, De Gruchy Store Director and Mark Labey, Jersey Post Postman

With research showing that one in five children in the UK have never received a letter and one in ten children have never written a letter themselves, De Gruchy has joined forces with Jersey Post on its mission to encourage people to say it with a letter. The very first post box in Europe to be serviced from a department store is now located in the recently revamped De Gruchy stationery department, making it easier for people to stay in touch in a meaningful way.

The new instalment, serviced daily as part of the Jersey Postal Service, is hoped to encourage people to write/post to their loved ones whilst in store, whatever the reason or occasion. With Christmas just around the corner, De Gruchy and Jersey Post hope that the new box will make the posting process even more convenient for busy shoppers.

Catherine Gasston, Marketing Manager at Jersey Post commented, ‘Last week, Jersey Post had a pop-up post office in Liberty Wharf to help celebrate World Post Day. We gave away free ‘I just wanted to say’ postcards to the public which were really well received. The feedback we had from our customers was that “no-one sends nice things in the post anymore,” “I only get bills in the post,” and “it’s so nice to receive something from a friend in the post.” With so many great postcards, notelets and stationery items these days, keeping in touch with a pen and paper doesn’t mean sitting down to write lengthy pages of A4 – it takes no longer than it does to type an email or text and means so more to the recipient. We hope that the new post box located in De Gruchy will help this situation by making it even more convenient for customers to show friends and family just how much they mean to them by saying it with a letter.’

Writing letters… Did you know?

In the UK, one in five children have never received a letter and one in ten have never written a letter themselves. This implies that there is a lost generation of children who have never experienced the fun involved with taking a trip to the Post office, buying a stamp and putting the letter in the post.*

Jersey was the first place in the British Isles to use post boxes. The late Anthony Trollope bought the idea back from France and introduced the ‘pillar box’ system to the Channel Islands in 1854. Using Jersey as a test base, he installed four green boxes at David Place, The Parade, St Clements Road and New Street to trial the system before introducing it to London in 1855. Post boxes gave people the freedom of private correspondence; for the first time, young women were able to send letters freely, without having to visit the post office in person. Could De Gruchy be the first of many department store post boxes?

Studies have shown that writing a handwritten letter activates large regions of the brain involved in thinking, memory, and language. Writing a letter helps to improve communication skills, vocabulary and writing skills by helping children learn letters and shapes, improving their composition of ideas, and boosting fine-motor skills development.

The main reason for children to write letters is Thank you letters (around 70%).

Written letters illustrate the time and effort which was invested in their creation. Each handwritten letter is unique, giving a personal touch which is often kept as a keepsake and a symbol of legacy.

In a survey of 1,200 seven-to-fourteen year olds, more than a quarter had not written a letter in the past year and 43% had not received a letter. In contrast, of the same sample, almost half had either written or received an email or a message on a social networking site.

A third of sixteen to nineteen year-old girls have never written a letter, whilst over half of the boys questioned had never written a letter. Half of all eleven year olds and a third of all fourteen year olds are not sure how to lay out a letter.

Over the Christmas period, postal workers will:
Walk the equivalent of 108 Itex Walks
Cycle the equivalent of 3.4 Tours de France
Drive the equivalent of 2 laps of Britain
Empty 187 post boxes 9,100 times.

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