SAN DIEGO, CA: In opening a new UPS store in San Diego, UPS is celebrating its 5,000th location with multiple grand opening celebrations and charity giveaways.
The 5,000 total encompasses the company's The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. brands. The company acquired Mail Boxes Etc. in 2001. Post-acquisition, it has rebranded all but 350 of the Mail Boxes Etc. stores in the US, but has not yet renamed the 1,200 international Mail Boxes Etc. stores, according to Steve Holmes, UPS PR manager.
UPS reached its 3,000-store milestone in April 2003.
UPS' main competitor, FedEx, acquired Kinko's in 2004, and lists 1,200 global locations.
The acquisitions have changed the dynamic of the shipping industry by ramping up the number of bricks-and-mortar locations run by the two shipping giants.
"We reenergized the industry with the rebranding of the UPS store and offering consistent pricing across the network," Holmes said. "Volume in those locations [after rebranding] grew significantly and franchise inquiries went up 90%."
Showing the company's reach to the media and customers through number of stores is now very important, Holmes said.
"We have so many more locations than our competitors do and research shows it's critical [to highlight the number] because of the convenience," Holmes said.
UPS is hosting five celebrations in San Diego, St. Louis, Detroit, Philadelphia and Palm Beach, which Holmes said were selected because of their different geographies. During the US celebrations, the company will donate $25,000 to local youth soccer programs for disadvantaged youth. Highlighting the company's global reach, a commemorative soccer ball will be shipped on an international journey around the world.
Additional grand opening events are scheduled to take place in Australia, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom in coming weeks.
UPS has already handled some business media outreach for the milestone and will do local outreach for the charity event.
The soccer theme builds upon the recent UPS television ads that involve soccer and the company's global shipping potential.
Coinciding with National Youth Soccer month in September, people can download a complimentary kit for a classroom project to track the soccer ball's journey around the world at either www.theupsstore.com or www.mbe.com.
"The big thing is we're highlighting [that we're] the largest retail business and shipping outlet and [with] that many locations, [we offer] superior convenience," Holmes said.