Move, name change deliver goods for UPS Store
Post Independent Staff
John Comerford says finding a good retail site in Glenwood Springs is “competitive sport.”
Comerford came out on top in one of his biggest games to date, when he snagged a spot at 1338 Grand Ave. for his UPS Store earlier this year. And like a hot-footed football player who just scored a winning touchdown, Comerford did a little dance himself when he got the news the location was his.
“He was jumping up and down,” said store clerk Dick Rose as he described what transpired when Comerford received the call.
Comerford, 51, moved his UPS Store to Grand Avenue from the Roaring Fork Marketplace in June. He said it’s still too early to tell how much his business has increased.
“A good day up there is an average day here,” he said. “There’s been a pretty dramatic increase. This location is wonderful.”
United Parcel Service franchises its UPS stores to private owners, and Comerford said there are 5,000 of the outlets across the United States. United Parcel bought out Mail Boxes Etc. in 2001, and gave individual owners the option of changing the name to UPS Store in 2003.
It was the right thing to do.
“UPS is the second most recognized name in the world, behind Coke,” Comerford said.
He said 50 to 60 percent of his business comes from shipping UPS and freight packages. He also sells packing supplies, cards and business products, rents private mailboxes, and offers copying and fax services.
Shipping is the bread and butter, and through the years Comerford has sent out an Indian headdress, a gingerbread house, a Wild Rose Bakery wedding cake, a stuffed pheasant and more.
“I’ve done all kinds of odd things,” he said.
Comerford is currently working to arrange the shipment of a modular home from Colorado to the Bahamas, but it’s not going by UPS.
Helping his customers with their shipping needs is one of the best parts of the business for Comerford. “People come in with problems either in their arms, or their heads,” he said. “When I can help them figure out what they need, that’s great.”
Comerford was busy working the store last Friday with employees Dick Rose and Kathie Maglia. Jim McMillian, a retired firefighter, had the day off. Comerford credits his staff with helping to make the move from Blake to Grand Avenue a success.
“I’ve got a great staff,” he said as Rose helped a steady stream of customers who rushed and ambled in and out of the store.
Comerford, a Michigan native, moved to the valley and opened his Mail Boxes Express store in the Marketplace, just south of Wal-Mart, in 1997. He said the decision to open a Mail Boxes Express outlet was “post career,” after working as an industrial and labor relations specialist for a telephone company in his native state, and later in freight sales.
Comerford’s first introduction to the Roaring Fork Valley came in 1984, when family members moved to Snowmass. He took up skiing in Aspen at the age of 35, and returned to the area once or twice a year. When his brother-in-law suggested he open a Mail Boxes Etc. store in Glenwood Springs, he jumped at the chance.
“I was in an urban area. I wanted to get to where there weren’t 4 million people within 50 miles of me,” he said. “I like driving 25 miles an hour, not 50.”
Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 538
The Glenwood Springs UPS Store is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. The telephone number is 945-1525, and the e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. The United Parcel Service Web site is http://www.ups.com.
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