Riverhead UPS store on Route 58 closes suddenly, and permanently

Riverhead area residents and small business owners were upset and caught by surprise by the seemingly sudden closure of a full-service UPS Store on Route 58 near the corner of Ostrander Avenue.

“Well, this is interesting,” said Gina Vitale of Riverhead, one of several longtime customers of the store to approach carrying packages, read the sign and leave frustrated.

“I’m here five times a week, and now it’s just up and gone,” she said. “It’s frustrating.”

The Riverhead location was one among only a handful of full service The UPS Stores in Eastern Suffolk. Full service locations handle a steady flow of Amazon deliveries and returns, and process unpackaged returns with just a barcode — making them extremely convenient to small businesses and local residents who frequently shop online.

A sign taped to the door, addressed to “our valued customers,” said that “effective immediately, this The UPS Store location is no longer open for business.”

The sign directs Riverhead-area customers to The UPS Store location at 5507 Nesconset Highway #10, Mount Sinai, which is about 20 miles away.

“We sincerely regret the inconvenience that this has caused you and encourage you to continue to continue doing business with other The UPS Stores,” the sign said.  

The sign on the door notes also that all those who rented mailboxes at the location have already been notified. Customers that need additional help are being directed to customer service number 1-800-789-4623.

Inquiries by phone and email to the national press office for UPS, which stands for United Parcel Service, were not immediately returned.

Started by two teenagers in a Seattle, Washington basement in 1907 as the American Messenger Service, UPS has grown into the largest package delivery service in the world, with locations in more than 200 countries, according to the company website.  

Another longtime customer of the Riverhead store, who runs a small concierge service in Westhampton Beach, was similarly frustrated by the sudden closure.

“I’m a small business, so I’m constantly returning things,” said Laura, a Westhampton resident who declined to give her last name. “I was here two days ago!

“The next closest one for me would be Southampton,” she said, “and that’s over a half hour away.”

As she spoke, a would-be customer popped her car trunk and began unloading a trunk full of packages, only to vigorously slam the trunk shut again when she learned of the store closure.