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Retail postal services center coming to Bell Fork

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Postal Annex on July 11, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)


By Michael Abramowitz
The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A new outlet for managing shipping needs and other personal office and business services is coming soon to the Bells Fork area.

PostalAnnex Plus, a 2,400-square-foot franchised retail postal and business services center, will open in the Bells Fork Square shopping center at 2120-107 Charles Blvd. at Fire Tower Road. An opening date has not been set, but owners Robin Taylor and Paul Gilbert are pushing for completion by the end of July.

The business will have private mailboxes for rent and customers can buy stamps and mail letters right from the store, ship packages and allow customers to compare rates before choosing among UPS, FedEx, USPS and other services. It also will offer a variety of packaging and shipping supplies, notary services, private mailboxes, copying, faxing, scanning, shredding, office supplies and passport services.

Taylor and Gilbert, friends who are entering the venture together, plan to have a lot more to shop for in addition to postal and business services.

“We wanted the store to reflect us as members of the community, so we’ll feature other things for sale and enjoyment, including art works from local artists, pottery from area potters and lots of those little items that people would like to toss into a package they’re sending someone to mark special occasions in life,” Taylor said.

“Annex Brands doesn’t have a one-way, all-or-none approach to franchise ownership. They offer lots of products and services, but we have been able to build on that to create a store that reflects the community we live in.”

Taylor relocated from the Cary area when she and Gilbert decided on Greenville for their new entrepreneurial effort.

“Paul was living in Michigan, but moved to Winterville when his daughter graduated from ECU,” Taylor said. “His mother lives in Ayden, so he decided Winterville was the ideal place between his mom and his business in Greenville. We both love our new community, and the location is perfect.”

Founded in 1985, the first Postal Annex store shared a wall with a local U.S. Postal Service office, hence its name, said Steve Goble, senior vice president for marketing at parent company Annex Brands of San Diego, Calif.

“We would do things the post office wouldn’t, such as packing, supplies and other business services,” Goble said. “There currently are 275 PostalAnnex franchises in the U.S. Robin and Paul approached us about having a Postal Annex in Greenville. Once we know that, we have some tools on the real estate side to help vet particular locations in a community that meet specific criteria. The location that Robin and Paul selected is about twice the size of our typical Postal Annex store.” 

Other locations in the region include a Rocky Mount store and two in Jacksonville, Goble said. Annex Brands Inc. is a franchisor of 800 retail and commercial shipping and business service centers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Japan.

Other franchises in the company include Pak Mail, AIM Mail Centers, Navis Pack and Ship, Handle With Care Packaging Store, Parcel Plus, Sunshine Pack and Ship and Annex Copy Center.

Contact Michael Abramowitz at mabramowitz@reflector.com and 329-9507.