With only two days left to ship Christmas packages, Joanie Roberts, mother and avid volunteer about Conway, walks through the doors of Shipping & Postal Unlimited with an armful of colorfully wrapped Christmas gifts.
She has to make two more trips to her car with the help of Shipping & Postal Unlimited staff to get close to 20 boxes and bags on the front counter.
"That’s what happens when you have a big family, and you don’t go home for Christmas," Roberts said.
Roberts has been trusting Shipping & Postal Unlimited to get her packages to family and friends since her kids were little, she said.
"They’re good people — very friendly," she said. "I’ve been happy with their business, and I feel like I can trust them."
Shipping & Postal Unlimited has been in Conway for 23 and a half years. They were originally established as Mailboxes Inc. in the Conway Towne Center in 1990, but moved to 813 Oak St. Suite 10 in 1992, soon after the Towne Center Walmart closed.
They changed their name and became an independent retailer about three years ago since UPS bought Mailboxes, Inc.
"We didn’t want to just offer UPS," said original owner and operator Linda Nabors. "We wanted to offer all postal carriers."
Since becoming an independent store, the former Mailboxes Inc. has transformed into a family owned and operated establishment with Christmas decorations in the windows and two cats that freely roam the store.
Over the 23 holiday seasons Nabors has been working in the postal and shipping industry, she has noticed lower volume this holiday season. She said she thinks it is due to the convenience of online shopping and gift cards.
"People don’t buy gifts like they used to," she said. "They buy online and have it shipped to the recipients."
With Thanksgiving falling one week later this year, the Christmas shopping and shipping season is one week shorter.
Nabors says many customers can’t believe Christmas is next week.
"It sneaked up on them," she said.
Roberts said she held several Christmas parties this year, and had to spend some time getting over an ailment, so she didn’t have as much time for shopping, wrapping and postal services this year.
Shipping & Postal Unlimited assured Roberts all her gifts should arrive by Christmas using ground shipping except one package labeled for South Korea.
"My niece teaches English to kindergarteners over there," Roberts said. "She teaches them by singing English Christmas and Happy Birthday songs."
Nabors says if customers ship their presents by Friday to a surrounding city or state including Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas and some cities in Kentucky, ground service should get it there by Christmas Day.
For farther states, Nabors suggests using UPS or FedEx second day air shipping.
(Staff writer Michelle Corbet can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 505-1215. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)
Key Shipping information
For the ultimate last minute shopper, FedEx can get a gift to its recipient Christmas Day with FedEx SameDay, but it will cost them with rates starting at $173.
Last day for FedEx 2Day and 2Day A.M. is Saturday. Packages picked up on Saturday are subject to a $15 per package pickup charge.
The last day for Standard Overnight, Priority Overnight and First Overnight through FedEx is Monday.
Packages shipped with UPS 2nd Day Air on Saturday will arrive on Christmas Eve.
If customers can’t make it to the UPS store this weekend, packages shipped with UPS Next Day Air Monday, will also arrive the day before Christmas.
US Postal Service
Friday is the last day for the United States Postal Service to deliver Christmas cards and parcels weighing 13 ounces or less by Christmas Day using their First Class Mail Service.
Saturday will be the last day to mail packages through the USPS’ Priority Mail Service, and Priority Mail Express Service allows shipping until Monday.