Lucy Georgakopoulos Tibbetts, managing director of Mail Boxes Etc Cayman Islands speaks with the Journal about her brand new service for the islands.
Mail Boxes Etc. was established in 1980 and has been rated the number one franchise in the postal and business services category for the past 19 consecutive years by Entrepreneur magazine, with locations around the globe.
Lucy Georgakopoulos Tibbetts came up with the idea to open Mail Boxes Etc. in the Cayman Islands because she felt there was a need for a one-stop-shop for small to medium sized businesses to take care of their day-to-day administrative tasks.
“As a small business-owner myself working as a consultant for the past four years, I found I spent a lot of time trying to get much needed administrative things done. Having to go from place to place to print flyers, send a courier package, mail a letter, scan a document was time consuming. The idea behind Mail Boxes Etc. is that all of the business services a business might need are all conveniently located under one roof so you can get on with more important things, like your clients,” Lucy explains.
In addition to convenience Lucy says they also offer accessibility. “The reality is that most small businesses cannot afford expensive copiers and many don’t have daily scheduled pick-ups from local couriers, so we provide these services to them affordably and hassle-free,” she explains.
But Mail Boxes Etc. is not just for businesses, Lucy states. “Many of our customers are individual consumers looking for a convenient location to pick up mail, send and receive packages, get their passport photos, etc.”
The business opened at Camana Bay in December of last year and was a plan nearly two years in the making to ensure the right service offering was being created.
“The response has been very positive from local consumers who need to pack items for shipping abroad, to new businesses that need a local mailbox, to larger firms that need specialty document printing and binding,” Lucy confirms. “The public, and Camana Bay tenants in particular, have been very receptive to our business concept and many have taken advantage of our services for the simple reason that we make life easier for them. Brand recognition is also one of the key differentiators of Mail Boxes Etc., customers know they can rely on us for professional and consistent service.”
Services are broad in range and include local mailboxes. “We’ve had quite a lot of young professionals and small businesses, such as consultants working from home offices, coming to us for a local mailbox. One of the unique things about our mailing address is that it can be used to receive regular mail and courier packages, something you can’t do with a standard PO Box address. Also, our customers have 24-hour secure access, 7 days a week, to their mailbox,” Lucy advises.
They also offer a pack and ship service whereby a wide variety of items can be carefully packed using a wide array of packing materials including padded envelopes, mailing tubes, bubble wrap, boxes in all shapes and sizes.
Mail Boxes Etc is an authorised shipping centre for DHL, Fed Ex and UPS, and Lucy says they are in a unique position to be able to give customers choice and flexibility when it comes to courier services.
“We can advise on the best option depending on the size and destination of their package and how quickly they need to get it there. The price customers pay with us is the same as what they would pay if they went to the courier directly,” she says.
Many residents here do not have a US address which sometimes makes purchases from the Internet difficult. Thus Lucy says her US address service has been very popular since she opened her doors.
She states: “It is very convenient for residents shopping online for items that are unavailable locally and equally so for businesses needing to bring in special orders for their customers. Having a US address makes ordering from US vendors fast and simple. We take care of all the customs documentation and clearance and provide our customers with options for air freight and ocean freight.”
The fastest growing side of the business is their printing service. “We can meet the needs of small businesses and organisations that need to print flyers, letterhead or what have you, as well as larger businesses that want to outsource some of their bigger print jobs.” Lucy explains. “Our capabilities with scanning, laminating, saddle-stitching, spiral binding and thermal hard-cover binding mean that businesses don’t have to invest in expensive equipment. Our document services are one of the reasons we chose Camana Bay as our location for Mail Boxes Etc. as there is a shortage of full-service printing facilities in the West Bay Road area to service the businesses nearby.”
Lucy confirms that in keeping with their objective to be a one-stop-shop for business needs, they also sell office supplies such as writing instruments, stationary, Post It’s, staples, tape.
“Just about all the basics you might need in a pinch,” she says.
In addition to the quality and range of service, Lucy says another important feature of her business is their high levels of customer service.
“We have a very helpful and knowledgeable team, led by centre manager Chris Orlandini,” she confirms. “We pride ourselves on giving personalised and friendly service to all of our customers, many of whom we already know by name. Due to the nature of the services we offer, we get to know our customers personally, so trust is a very important element of our customer relationship, whether we’re printing confidential documents or setting up a mailbox, our customers’ information is handled with the utmost confidence and respect.”