It may be an unusual business arrangement, but there's no doubt it's a successful one -- the UPS Store at 223 N. Guadalupe St. is enjoying its 20th year in business.
Both the owners of the store, Bob and Leslie Nathan, who opened the business and own the franchise, and store managers Gary and Sheila Weidner say the arrangement has been a successful one.
In an email, the Weidners said the reason for their success is that they "specialize in caring for our customers' needs and solving their problems."
They added: "Whether someone needs to pack and ship an item, make a copy or rent a private mailbox, it is an important matter to them, and they deserve prompt and professional attention."
"It's an unusual arrangement," Bob Nathan said from his home in Colorado. "Most businesses don't stay open for that period of time. The Weidners have taken care of business, and they're very valued employees."
The store is an extremely busy one, Nathan said, so much so that it reached sixth in the nation in revenue among other UPS stores around the country. That happened this year.
Other years, the local UPS has been one of the top 10 stores in the nation among the company's 4,000.
"The business has grown every year for the past 20 years," Nathan said "Some of our customers have used us for that length of time."
Nathan declined to say how much revenue the store brings in.
Twenty years ago, the Nathans carefully chose the location for the store, on the near west side close to the Plaza and near to Cerrillos Road. "We wanted tourists to be able to come and go, and we wanted easy parking" for them and local people, Nathan said.
The Nathans rent the property from long-time owners Fred and Barbara de Castro, who own other property in the area. Asked if he wanted to buy the UPS property, Nathan laughed and quipped, "We would love to buy it. If you can convince them to sell it, I would gladly buy it."
In response to another question about Santa Fe's "living wage" law, Nathan said he doesn't worry about paying it because his UPS Store already pays staffers more than that. (The city of Santa Fe's minimum wage is $10.29.)
"We're way ahead of the city, and we will always be," Nathan said. "If you treat people right, those people will stay with you. That's always has been our policy."
Sheila Weidner said the higher wage at the UPS store has resulted in a "wonderful staff." She declined to discuss the store's wage other than to say it was "significantly more" than the city's living wage.
Weidner did say the store has four employees in addition to her husband and herself.
Such a small staff meant the UPS Store had no need to lay people off during the recession. "We remained in the top 200 UPS stores during the recession, and now we're in the top 10," Sheila Weidner said.
UPS workers "are all professionally trained in all the services we offer," she said. "It is an important matter to them."
These services include packaging, shipping paintings and sculptures and shipping packages by UPS trucks and larger trucks if necessary, the Weidners said.
Other services available include private mailbox rental with 24-hour access.
UPS mailbox service is considerably more expensive than that provided by the U.S. Postal Service. UPS mail boxes cost from $20 to $30 per month, while a small USPS annual box fee is about $40.
But USPS customers don't have on-site copying and printing facilities at their P.O. Box facility like UPS customers do, the Weidners said.
"They're not set up for that," Bob Nathan said. "That's why [customers] like to come to" UPS.
Please note, the comment system has been temporarily suspended. Comments will return with the launch of our new website on March 11, 2013. Please direct questions or concerns to web editor Natalie Guillen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your patience.