UPS Store is now open in Woodland marketplace
After success on Nantucket, Michael Boylan decided to open a UPS Store on Martha's Vineyard. Located in the Woodland Business Center in Vineyard Haven, the UPS Store opened its doors a few weeks ago, but had a grand opening celebration on Friday, May 11.
In addition to mailing and shipping services, the UPS Store offers printing, copying and faxing services for small and large documents, office supplies, greeting cards, and 24-hour accessible post office boxes.
"We are providing a service on the Island at a fair market rate. We see it as a real service to the Island people," Mr. Boylan said at the grand opening, in between helping customers in the pristine store.
Mr. Boylan, who owns the franchise with his wife, Maryellen, hired Island native Thomas Sawyer to manage the franchise. Working together, the UPS Store will be open six days a week, with slightly extended hours in the summer.
Mr. Boylan said the store's number one priority is customer service. Although they offer similar services to the Island post offices, their attention to detail and customer care will set them apart, he said.
The UPS Store in the Woodland Business Center hosted a grand opening celebration on Friday, May 11. The store offers packing, shipping, and various business services. Photos by Aubrey Gibavic
As you walk in the front door, the facing wall is flanked with 200 gold post office boxes. Available for $60 for three months, or $120 for a year, customers can access their mail 24 hours a day, call to check if they have any mail, and accept packages from any delivery service, including DHL, FedEx, and the United States Postal Service. Business-sized post office boxes rent for $300 a year. Customers can also attach a street address to their post office box, if they prefer. A small box at the Vineyard Haven post office goes for $40 a year.
Customers can also get passport photos printed, utilize the store's wide-format digital printer, or stock up on file folders and binder clips.
When Mr. Boylan was looking to open a UPS franchise on one of the Islands in 2004, he said officials at the UPS corporate offices saw more potential for a store on the Vineyard, and encouraged him to open the franchise here. But Mr. Boylan, who already owned a home and lived with his family on Nantucket, decided to try out Nantucket first.
Michael "Panhead" Fuss sent a package to eBay with the help of manger Thomas Sawyer.
He contacted merchants and researched the business climate, and after nearly two and a half years of operation, the business is growing every month, Mr. Boylan said.
Although Mr. Boylan and his wife personally own the UPS franchise on Nantucket, he said there was some initial resistance to the nationwide name coming to the tony Island.
A small struggle came when a group of Nantucketers did not want any retail businesses in the Island's historical area. The UPS store is located out of that district, and since it's opening in December 2004, Mr. Boylan said they have had few complaints.
When he decided to open a second store on Martha's Vineyard, Mr. Boylan said the project was referred to the Martha's Vineyard Commission, who took a few hours one night to ask some questions about the business, before readily approving the project.
Mr. Boylan continues to own a home on Nantucket, and commutes to the Vineyard every Monday morning and stays until Friday or Saturday evening.
At the grand opening, Mr. Boylan's 3-year-old daughter Abby was happily darting across the freshly laid carpet, and plates of cheese and crackers and bottles of water were laid out for fortunate customers.
Mr. Boylan said he took out an advertisement in The Times, but is relying heavily on word of mouth to spread the word about the new store.
Only a sagging sign and a few bunches of balloons indicated the UPS Store's grand opening, but customers were strolling in anyway.
Maureen Marlowe of Oak Bluffs and London came in to check out the new store, and was elated when she found a poster advertising a specific shipping service. The poster read, "Let the UPS store return left behind items to your guests." If a tenant forgets an item in their rented vacation home, instead of the landlord returning the forgotten item, they simply have to contact the UPS store, who will pick up the item at the house, package and ship it back to the renter. The forgetful renter is then charged for the shipping, plus a five-dollar pick-up fee.
Ms. Marlowe said managing her East Chop rental home from overseas is difficult enough, but every summer tenants leave behind everything from sneakers to stuffed animals, and she would definitely set up an account to utilize the service this summer.
An elaborate chandelier with candles and crystals was sitting behind the counter, waiting to be shipped. Mr. Boylan said someone brought it in last week, and they were just waiting for a shipment of boxes big enough to house the ornate item.
Another customer wandered into the store proclaiming, "I didn't even know you guys were here!" Michael "Panhead" Fuss was looking to ship a package back to eBay, who had sent him the incorrect item. Mr. Sawyer rattled off the different shipping options, while Mr. Fuss, owner of Offshore Cycle in Vineyard Haven, joked about how he had ordered fancy new tail lights for his wife's car, and the ones that came in from eBay were the wrong fit.
Similar stores on the Island
In addition to the post offices in Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs, Edgartown, West Tisbury, and Chilmark, the Mailroom in Edgartown advertises itself as a "packing, shipping and business services company," and offers similar services as the UPS Store. Located in the Triangle Plaza, the Mailroom offers copy, fax, and miscellaneous business services.
The Mailroom also offers post office boxes, which run for $20 a month or $100 for the entire year.
The UPS Store is open from 9 to 5 Monday through Thursday, and 9 to 3 on Saturdays. Starting in June, the store will be open an extra hour during the week. Access to post office boxes is unlimited.