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Oct, 01 2007

Learn from the masters - III The UPS Store

As the world`s largest package delivery company and a leading global provider of specialised transportation and logistics services, The UPS Store is the largest franchisor of retail shipping, postal and business service centres, providing convenient and v

The UPS Store was founded by Gerald Aul, Pat Senn and Robert Diaz in year 1980 as convenient alternative to the post office. In 2001, UPS acquired Mail Boxes Etc., Inc. In 2003, the two companies introduced The UPS Store opportunity offering the U.S. networks the choice to re-brand, and also set lower maximum retail prices for UPS shipping services.

The UPS Store is the world’s largest franchisor of retail shipping, postal and business service centres. Its franchise brands, The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. (MBE), together comprise more than 5,765 independently owned locations around the world, providing convenient and value-added business services to the small-office, market, corporate and consumers.

In the year, following the re-branding, Mail Boxes Etc., Inc. sold more than 500 new locations of The UPS Store in the United States – a record for the company, and phenomenal growth for a quarter-century-old franchise. Special-venue site development also has grown steadily with locations on college campuses, military bases, in convention centres, hotels, and urban renewal areas/empowerment zones. Special-venue sites create an opportunity to provide services to consumers, regardless of where they live, work or travel.

In 2006, The UPS Store was ranked among top 500 companies in Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual ‘Franchise 500,’ a ranking of franchise opportunities based on factors such as financial strength, growth rate and size.

International presence

In addition to its domestic network, The UPS Store has expanded globally through master license agreements, with locations in more than 40 countries. Historically, the services provided by The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. location have been adaptable to the needs and market conditions of various countries and cultures around the world. In 2004, the company crossed the threshold of 5,765 locations worldwide. Throughout the company’s historic growth, one thing has remained constant: the commitment of its franchisees to provide personalised and convenient business solutions with world-class customer service.


The UPS Store is the franchisor of a globally recognised franchised network of business communications and postal retail service centres. It is the largest franchise of its kind in the world. Huafreed, Business Development Head of Asia, says that The UPS Store mainly franchise its outlets in two ways.

Master Franchise: A Master Franchisee owns the rights to participate in the growth and development of The UPS Store network throughout a part of a country. Master franchisees work to provide local assistance in selling franchises and supporting franchisees within a territory. Area franchisees will also own and operate one or more The UPS Store locations.

Individual or multiple franchise: Individual Franchisee owns and operate one The UPS Store location in a city. Franchisees receive complete training and support from local master licensees and area franchisees, which understand the specifics of the local market. Some master licensees also offer opportunity for qualified parties to become multiple franchisees owning two or more locations.

Franchise requirements

Requirements for a franchisee to become a Global Franchise Partner vary from one country to other.

Investments: Cash or liquid assets: Rs 24 lakh

Startup cash: Rs 3 lakh

Investment: Rs 61.5 lakh, Rs 1.06 crore

Fixtures, equipment: Rs 20 lakh

Franchise fee: Rs 12 lakh

Location: Though location for opening The UPS Stores varies from country to country, but The UPS Store has set up the following criteria. They have divided the criteria between traditional and non traditional locations.

Traditional location: Area 800 to 1,800 sq.ft

Preferred – Highly visible, grocery or drug store anchored shopping centres, strip centres, retail corridors or stand-alone sites, unobstructed store signage and visibility from road and shopping centre, high traffic counts.

Parking – Easily accessible parking spaces are preferred having a parking time of minimum 15 minutes. Glass frontage and rear door for delivery and pick-up are preferred. Adjacent to or located in market areas with commercial business and professional office parks, universities, medical centres, tourist areas, etc.

Non-traditional location: Area 600 to 1,500 sq.ft

Preferred – Hotels and convention centres, universities, military installations and store-within-a-store locations such as supermarkets and mass merchandisers, unobstructed store signage and high visibility, high traffic counts, easily accessible from parking and /or entrance, temporary kiosks.

Training and support

Huafreed says that specialised training is provided to people at each level of the business: master license, individual centre franchise, multiple centre franchise and area franchise. The company provides more than the initial training programme as training is an ongoing process that helps each franchisee and licensee realise the greatest results. Out of 5 weeks training programme, 2 weeks must be completed in Ontario, negotiable on timing. The company has gained years of valuable experience at each level of business. Each training programme is designed to provide a complete understanding of the business and the benefits of this experience. Training for international centre franchisees is provided by the master license within the territory of operation and in the appropriate local language. Other than training, The UPS Store also provides other support to its franchisees, like unparalleled brand recognition, financial assistance, real estate development, store design and construction, pre-established corporate customers, technology development, advertisement and marketing support.

What makes the brand a success?

The UPS Store concept meets the personal and business needs of consumers with a complete array of shipping, postal and business-service offerings, all in one convenient location. Customers benefit from the shipping prices they want, with the reliability they need. Meghan Dougherty, spokesperson of the MBE and The UPS Store, says that due to their franchisors, The UPS Store became a brand. He further added that The UPS Store franchise is a globally respected brand, which means stores are known and trusted from the moment they open their doors. The strength of The UPS Store network comes, in part, from the talented and dedicated associates at each retail location. The UPS Store franchise promises to deliver world-class customer service to every person that walks through his or her door.

NOTE: If you are interested in having a temporary The UPS Store kiosk in your place of business, contact the nearest The UPS Store location(s). All locations are individually owned and operated, and some locations may not offer the temporary kiosk solution.

Inputs compilation Rajshekhar Chakroborty

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