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Store aims to help small businesses

Posted: September 18, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 18, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Owners Barry, left, and Shirley Singer stand at Your-MailBox-Store in Newhall on Monday.

 

When Barry Singer first conceived of Your-MailBox-Store, he saw it as a special-concept store that could assist small businesses by offering services they rely on daily.

Originally from the San Fernando Valley, Singer moved to Santa Clarita in 2000. With customer service experience in the information technology field where he built and managed customer service teams, Singer felt he could go up against the local competition by offering what other similar stores might not.

You can make an assumption by the name of the business about what type of products and services Your-MailBox-Store offers, he said, and you would be partially right. But the retailer offers much more — it’s pretty much a one-stop service shop for the small-business owner.

The store is more than just a mailing and shipping store, he said. The retailer provides mailboxes and shipping services but also prints business cards and banners, he said.

Singer thinks he and his wife, Shirley, will succeed by offering the kind of customer service the chain stores can’t, he said.

The retailer also provides services for copying, laminating and bounding of any printed material. It has an authorized notary on staff every day, enlarges and reduces prints, transfers prints to DVD, creates large-format poster-size images, fingerprint services, passport photos and document shredding. Soon, it will offer Western Union services as well, Singer said.

And, the store offers one other service — it provides U-Haul rentals to help customers rent and return trailers.

Part of the small business niche Singer targets is home-based businesses, he said, because so many people work out of their home now but they need all the services of a regular company. Use of his store’s personal mailboxes also makes it possible for anyone to have a real street address for his business.

Your-MailBox-Store will come and pick up a package, without charging a pickup or travel fee, Singer said. And it will package it, ship it and provide tracking access to the customer. The retailer stocks about 80 sizes of boxes and packages.

“I can ship just about anything to just about anywhere,” Singer said. “I have shipped some pretty strange items — from horseradish to a musical instrument.”

Before opening Your-MailBox-Store, however, Singer spent about a year working out the financing, finding a location, and figuring out who he would partner with. He ended up selecting RSA Regional Shipping Association, which assists small-business owners in setting up a mail store and provides an online shipping tracking system.

While Singer looked into franchise stores, he said he found he could open his own independent store and get the support he needed for less money than a franchise fee. Also, owning his own business allows him the freedom to operate and provide the kind of customer service he wants to specialize in, he said.

“I think customers can appreciate the fact that we are not a “big biz” franchise,” Singer said. “We are family owned and will continue to operate that way.”

The Newhall-based Your-MailBox-Store had a soft opening a little more than month ago to become familiar with the equipment, systems and processes, he said. But a grand opening is planned for Sept. 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Starting out, I was looking for a way to help others get services they needed and wanted,” Singer said. “I knew I could help them with great service at a great price.”

Your-MailBox-Store is located at 23756 Newhall Ave. in the same center as a new Dollar Tree discount store.

jadkins@the-signal.com

661-287-5599

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