And then there was one...

Yet again Royal Mail becomes the only E2E postal distributor following last week’s announced withdrawal of TNT’s Whistl service in Liverpool, London and Manchester.

Will this impact the direct mail industry? In the short term, no. It is simply a return to the status quo. Moreover, according to the DMA Whistl’s final mile penetration represented less than one per cent. However, it's the long term that will be affected. Before the investors pulled the plug Whistl had ambitious plans to expand its letterbox delivery services to 42% of UK addresses by 2019, a significant chunk of the market. Without this competition direct mailers worry that there is no pressure for Royal Mail to maintain efficiencies and provide a competitive service.

However, for those advertisers that used Whistl for the final mile it is worth investigating whether they now qualify for the customer growth incentive which Royal Mail offers to reward clients for growing their mail volumes. As a result of this initiative direct mail may well experience another rise in volumes over the next few months.