Royal Mail buys digital businesses to spur growth

The FT reports on Royal Mail’s digital and ecommerce related acquisition spree. Well about time.

Royal Mail should have been at the forefront of digital/internet development back in the nineties. They were perfectly placed to have expanded the definition of a ‘distribution’ company into the internet age to include not just physical distribution but the virtual distribution and delivery of information. They could have owned email (what better than a company with ‘mail’ in it’s name). They could have built the first digital document signing service. They could have provided customers with online document storage. There are so many areas of digital business that are essential now that, looking back, Royal Mail could have developed if they’d had the vision. These purchases show some acceptance of the need to be a digitally-enabled business but they are still very much focused around the physical distribution of goods.