Last Call For The Mail Stop

A Leesburg shipping center and postal supplies store will be closing for good at month’s end.

The Mail Stop, which current owner Michele Depue says has been in operation at its Edwards Ferry Road location for at least 20 years, will cease operations at close of business June 30. Depue, who purchased the business along with her husband in 2008, pointed to rising rental costs and the proliferation of Internet sales as the main reasons for the closure.

When Depue and her husband purchased The Mail Stop, plans were for her husband to run the store, along with another online business. He died just four months after the purchase, leaving Depue to run the store on her own. And she has done so since then, but decided that with the business loan paid off and no desire to sign a lease extension that would have commanded a higher rate it was time to look for a new start. Depue said she tried to sell the business but could not find any buyers.

In addition to packing and shipping services and supplies, The Mail Stop offers notary services, document shredding, mailbox rentals and even sold lottery tickets for a while. With two of her three children out of the house, Depue is planning a move to Florida to be closer to family after the store closes.

With word of the closing spreading amongst loyal customers, Depue said she has had many tell her how much they will miss the store.

“My repeat customers have always been very wonderful. They’re very loyal and appreciate the extra mile I always go to make sure their packages get to where they’re going,” Depue said.

For those wanting to catch Depue and The Mail Stop before it closes, the shop is located at 932 Edwards Ferry Road NE in the Shenandoah Square shopping center.

4 thoughts on “Last Call For The Mail Stop

  • 2016-06-22 at 4:11 pm

    I fully expect a chain store to move into this space unless Leesburg adopts some kind of protections for small businesses (google “formula retail”).

  • 2016-06-24 at 9:32 am

    Francis – #1. The store is tiny, tiny, tiny, so please realize it is very unlikely that a “chain store” like Costco will move into the space, which is laughable. Most of the adjacent spaces are very small businesses with some part of a parent company (such as the paint store – I’m sure this store made billions in Leesburg last year), but independently run to protect the parent firm. # 2. We already subsidize about 1/4 of the Town residents to some degree, many illegal, and offer a huge strip of the middle of the “older town area down the middle of market street” relatively unprotected pressure from bidding on certain Town contract related services, which aren’t in the best financial interest of the Town. Are you now suggested that the Town go a step further and provide financial protection for small businesses when they offer the Town nothing for their success and they can ultimately sell their business, pack their bags and move to Florida. #3. The article says nothing about the previous financials about the business, so I digress back to my previous paragraph as you want to spend our money to afford a business the opportunity to continue to exist when they cannot compete in their current business model, which is apparent to the Owner. #4. A massive amount of the adjacent community is Latino. Other than the two upscale local eateries, and some lesser eateries, most folks don’t consider venturing to the “Walmart District” and opt to shop and patronize stores on the other side of Route 15. Although I feel for the Owner, perhaps she should have considered assimilating more with her community. By her own admission, selling lottery tickets in a “Mail Stop” wasn’t cutting it………

  • 2016-06-24 at 10:17 am

    Francis – one last comment. When Creme de la Creme went out of business in downtown Leesburg last month you offered no similar type of protections for their business (it was obvious you did not patronize the business). Why not? Developers continue to build, as many buildings continue to sit partially dormant (especially the strip center in Exeter, which sat empty for a long time – doing much better finally in the Town Center), and many businesses come and go even after our “robust economy”….. Not taking jabs at you, just offering that many people want to open a business, be their own boss, fail to diversify, etc. and one way or the other, the public pays for their failed business as few pay in full for all of their financial commitments. They tend to owe multiple creditors tons of money. It seems the Mail Stop Owner may have had limited debt, but I would venture she poured tons of her own money into a failing business plus blood, sweat and tears.

    • 2016-06-24 at 9:06 pm

      I think you misunderstand my position. My argument is that small businesses do not and cannot compete on the same level as chain stores. Chain stores have immense buying power and can spread losses to their franchises across the country. I am for local small businesses, not in any specific business (Creme de la Creme or The Mail Stop).

      I retract my comment that Leesburg has any power in this case. The property owner can put any business in her spot by-right. However, for future growth, perhaps small businesses such as the Mail Stop could have been protected from rising market rents (the main reason the article states the business closed) set mostly by chain stores by adopting zoning ordinances that give small businesses a chance to thrive. This occurs to some extent with the Historic District, but instead through strict architectural requirements and the fact that the architectural review board has to approve anything that moves in.

      I expect that the future tenant of the Walmart property to request a zoning exception, and then Leesburg will hopefully have a chance to influence the type of business that ends up there.

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