Kinko's rebranding stores after its merger with FedEx

DALLAS: Kinko's announced last week plans to rebrand its 1,200 stores as FedEx Kinko's Office and Print Centers, reflecting its recent merger with FedEx. Internal communications led PR strategy, said FedEx spokesman Howard Clabo.

DALLAS: Kinko's announced last week plans to rebrand its 1,200 stores as FedEx Kinko's Office and Print Centers, reflecting its recent merger with FedEx. Internal communications led PR strategy, said FedEx spokesman Howard Clabo.

"You have two brands that are 30-year-old icons in their respective industries, and our employees obviously feel passionately about" them, Clabo said. "We wanted to share it with our employees and have them embrace it, and not have them show up one day and have a new sign on the building."

No reporters were invited to the unveiling at Kinko's Dallas headquarters. About 500 employees attended as the CEOs of both companies spoke.

The PR team put out a press release and b-roll an hour and a half later, Clabo said. The publicity push included an SMT and a radio news release.

Clabo reported extensive media pickup, especially considering many reporters already covered the companies' merger announcement in December and the deal closing in February.

Both Weber Shandwick, which Kinko's hired as AOR in July, and longtime FedEx agency Ketchum participated in launching the new name.

"Both agency relationships are valuable to us," Clabo said. "Obviously, they have a great deal of understanding of both companies."

The merged entity hasn't decided whether to consolidate PR with one agency.

"Both have done a great job so far," Clabo said.

The new name and logo will begin appearing on stores in the third quarter as all of them begin offering full FedEx counter services. Many now provide only self-service drop boxes.

In time for the holidays, FedEx Kinko's also will begin competing more directly with rival UPS Stores by offering pack-and-ship services. The chain also will expand its FedEx Consolidated Returns service, through which catalog and online shoppers can return items purchased from a variety of retailers.

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