A local business that today harnesses the reach of a global shipping giant has humble roots in the community.
The UPS Store at Blundell Centre started out its commercial life two and a half decades ago as a Mailbox Etc. location. And now, it continues to be a vital link for its customers, providing not only parcel delivery and pick-up, but support for the steadily growing number of people working from home through its variety of services - from printing to online parcel processing.
“The business has been here for 23 years,” says Sammy Ty, owner of the UPS Store at Blundell Centre. “The original business was called Mail Box Etc., which became The UPS Store #257, in 2007. We then acquired the franchise in 2010.”
While the core of the business remains shipping, which includes the might of Europe’s DHL courier service, Ty says many customers also come into the store to fulfill their small business needs.
“What many people don’t know is we do common office services that customers may find difficult to do by themselves, such as printing documents, copying and scanning,” Ty says.
With so many more people switching to work from home after the COVID-19 pandemic, the wide-ranging help is much needed and appreciated, Ty adds.
“A lot of people don’t have printers at home, so they come here with what they need printed on a USB drive, email us their documents, or go into our computer and print directly from that,” Ty says. “And, we can print pretty much anything, from architectural drawings to posters and banners, plus all the ordinary printing needs.”
The store also provides mailboxes, another service seeing a marked increase since online shopping remains strong, and many of those working from their homes prefer to have a remote and secure delivery point for their job-related mail and packages.
“When people are working remotely, they don’t always want mail sent directly to their home,” Ty says.
The UPS Store also provides a shredding service to conveniently, and securely, dispose of sensitive documents.
“That’s really picked up because people are becoming increasingly aware of protecting themselves from getting scammed by having sensitive paperwork fall into the wrong hands,” Ty says.
“A lot of people also use us for dropping off pre-paid parcels when they are returning goods ordered online.”
Being conveniently and centrally located in Richmond at Blundell Centre is another benefit.
“We are here to help the community. Despite having the UPS name, we are very much a community-based operation.”
The UPS Store, across Kin’s Farm Market, is open from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
For more information about the UPS Store at Blundell Centre, visit theupsstore.ca/257.