New Goin' Postal Franchise In East Naples Offers Shipping, Shredding

Friday, December 03, 2010

The name takes a little getting used to, Ed Metz admits.

His new shipping center in Kings Lake Plaza on Davis Boulevard in East Naples is called "Goin' Postal," and while the phrase is an accurate description of the store's core business, there is that connotation of a crazed employee running around brandishing a gun.

"You either like it or you don't," said Metz, but it definitely helps the operation get noticed.

Metz said that the Goin' Postal chain is a friendly, community-oriented franchising company, and that's why he and his family opted for it over numerous competitive possibilities. Perhaps to soften the impact of the company name, the tag line underneath it on the logo reads, "your friendly neighborhood shipping center." While the Kings Lake Plaza location offers a full-range of shipping options, as well as a whimsical assortment of merchandise, one walk-in offering sets the company apart from almost any other business in the area.

They shred.

More precisely, you shred.

Goin' Postal has a free-standing shredding station on the premises, where for a dollar or two, customers can turn their own unwanted, private or potentially damaging documents into handfuls of confetti.

The shredder at Goin' Postal looks a little like R2-D2's big brother. It stands on one side of the store, waiting for a customer to slide in a dollar bill, and then springs, or rather hums, into action.

"This is a cross-cut shredder, and that means you can't put it back together again," Metz said. "It's a great way to combat identity theft." Customers can feed up to 20 sheets of paper at a time into the machine, which also chews up credit cards, CDs or DVDs, checkbooks and bank statements. Since the shredder is self-service, no one but the documents' owner has to handle them.

The commercial-quality shredder cost $3,500 and came from You-Shred, a company started by two Arizona businessmen after they tired of the amount of time it took to destroy documents in a home shredder.

"Users of our equipment are people who are tired of dealing with the hassle of a home shredder," said Jeff Beard of You-Shred. "Why spend hundreds of dollars on a decent shredder when you can take your old bank statements and tax documents to the Goin' Postal and shred them for a buck?" One dollar gives a customer four minutes of shredding time, which is enough to dispose of approximately 300 pages, Metz said. The store takes care of recycling the shredded materials.

"The company suggested a dollar a minute, but we wanted to give people more time," said Gina Metz, who is co-owner of the franchise with her husband and their son, Ed Jr. "We were going to offer it as a courtesy to our customers, but we have to pay for the machine." Goin' Postal also offers a combination service to help people save space, and move their document storage into the digital age.

"If you have old documents, we will scan them, put them onto CDs or a flash drive, and then shred the paper files for you," Ed Metz Jr. said in between helping customers.

The store did a steady business on a recent Monday, despite having opened only recently. The merchants had their official ribbon-cutting with the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce on Nov. 5.

Goin' Postal offers FedEx, UPS and U.S. Postal services, with postage stamps sold without a premium.

"A 44 cent stamp costs you 44 cents," Ed Metz Sr. said.

The company offers packing services, or materials for the do-it-yourselfer, copy and fax, laminating, binding, door-to-door auto shipping, and private mailbox rentals.

"Mail here, and you can have a physical address, and receive UPS and FedEx," Gina Metz said. "At the Post Office, you can't." Another unusual offering is fingerprinting, which the Metzes say is popular with teachers and medical personnel.

The merchandise in the store, with a heavy dose of Yankees and Mets souvenirs and paraphernalia, offers a clue to the family's background. Ed Metz spent 25 years living on Staten Island, working for the city of New York's Environmental Protection Agency.

"We were there for 9/11, and I assisted in the cleanup," he said. "Then we said it's time to change our lives." Ed Jr. graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University in May, and helped persuade his parents to try the shipping business. They expect to see a surge in business as the holidays approach.

The store also sells NFL pennants, team clocks, jigsaw puzzles, Advent calendars, refrigerator magnets, pens, markers, tape, greeting cards, gift bags and fun bands.

Sandy Herman lives close enough to walk in, and she did, inquiring about sending clothes to Chicago ahead of a visit.

"We're delighted to see them here," she said. "I came in when the store first opened, just to say hello. They're very friendly people, and I want to see them make it." Goin' Postal is at 4888 Davis Blvd. in the Kings Lake Plaza. The phone number is 239 (430) 4646.

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