Postal Center Closing Promises Big Impact on Business

Reno's Main Post Office and Regional Distribution Center
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Jimmy Beans Wool could serve as a model for the kind of business northern Nevada has spent decades trying to attract.

It's a fast growing ecommerce start up, begun by a former Bay Area couple, attracted by the area's status as a distribution hub.

There's a small retail shop up front at its warehouse location at East McCarran and Capital Boulevard, but most of the business takes place out back where orders come in from all over by phone and by internet and are shipped out, 500 or more orders a day.

The business has grown in a few short years to $6 million dollars a year in revenue, now employing 35 and no end in sight. A big factor in that success story is, apparently, the postal distribution center.

"They have made such a huge difference," says Jimmy Beans' CEO, "in the speed of our packages getting to customers to the happiness of our customers to pricing to everything."

Zander says ninety percent of the orders that leave her shop are shipped through the postal service which she says, and this may surprise many, gives her customers faster, cheaper service, which is why she spends a half million dollars a year at the post office.

"A customer on the east coast can place an order at 2 p.m. on a Saturday. We can ship later that afternoon and they have it Monday. It makes us look like rock stars."

If the center closes, she'll have to turn to UPS or FedEx. Higher shipping costs and, given their more limited business hours, she says, that customer may have to wait a day or more for delivery.

Having the distribution center here, she says, has been a competitive advantage that's allowed her business to grow. Making the postal service less competitive, changes that equation.

"It gives us a competitive advantage that without it, there's no compelling reason to stay here," she says. "One of the draws of Reno as a town, which I agree with, is that it's a distribution center, a distribution hub and it doesn't make sense to me to pull one of the legs of distribution, one of the shipping legs out from under us."