Girvin Vincent is celebrating 21 years as a Mail Boxes Etc. franchisee. He was the first person to join the network, starting his business in 1993 in Store Street, London. The franchise pilot store in Marylebone High Street had been operating for a year at that time.
Girvin was already familiar with both franchising and the Mail Boxes Etc. brand from living and working in Canada. In the UK the brand was then unknown and franchising was little understood, so Girvin was a pioneer both for Mail Boxes Etc. and for franchising.
He had left his native Belfast for Canada to work in a Canadian bank, staying for 15 years until he was transferred to London. Eight years later he was made redundant, so he began to look for a new opportunity. After researching several options he recognised that he really wanted to do something for himself.
Franchising was one possibility that really appealed to Girvin. He looked closely at it, applying some rigorous criteria to find exactly what would suit him. He knew he didn’t want to do anything in catering or cleaning and discovered that some other possibilities were quite expensive. Eventually, he decided that Mail Boxes Etc. offered exactly the right combination of opportunities that suited his experience, talents and skills.
After nearly 18 years working as a Mail Boxes Etc. franchisee in London, latterly in Great Russell Street, Girvin is now back home in Belfast where he has a city centre store and is thoroughly enjoying his new work/life balance.
During the years that Girvin has been a franchisee, the Mail Boxes Etc. network of “one-stop-stores” has grown rapidly and is fast approaching 150 High Street outlets across the UK and Ireland. He comments: “There have been many changes over the years in franchising which has also expanded at an incredible rate. The number of franchises and different business sectors they represent is astounding. But Mail Boxes Etc. has continued to maintain the same values and high standards of customer service.
“I’ve had a great time with Mail Boxes Etc., both in London for 17 years and now back here. I am glad not to be a London commuter any more and have more time to take things a bit easier – but with no intention of retiring!
“One of my reasons for choosing Mail Boxes Etc. was that it was not a highly technical operation, which suited me just fine. Of course things have moved on a great deal since then and now I’m very fortunate in having two young men working in the store. They both have very strong technical and design skills, which means I am very happy to delegate those areas to them.
“Mail Boxes Etc. is a very friendly organisation and has helped many people, including me, to have their own successful business.”
Michael Hawkins, sales and marketing director, commented: “We are extremely proud and privileged to have Girvin as our franchisee, especially as he is such a strong supporter of franchising. His achievements and successes have run along parallel lines to Mail Boxes Etc.’s and even after 21 years, he still wants to carry on which is good news!”