Atlanta--UPS recently announced a plan that will allow 3,300 Mail Boxes Etc. (MBE) franchisees based in the 48 contiguous United States to convert their retail centers to The UPS Store.
The program also enables storeowners to considerably lower the prices they offer consumers for UPS air express, ground and international shipping services.
UPS acquired MBE in 2001. Since that time, the two companies have been working together and with MBE franchisee representatives to identify opportunities to improve the MBE business model, which focuses on the shipping and business needs of consumers and small businesses. The answer came following a year-long pricing test in San Antonio and Phoenix MBE centers, as well as an additional four-month branding test in four other U.S. markets.
While the new pricing program showed positive results in all test markets, it was The UPS Store name, which was tested in St. Louis and Seattle, that fueled the strongest customer response. In these areas, December year-over-year comparisons showed that franchisees who converted to The UPS Store increased their overall UPS shipping volume by 70 percent, in addition to increasing customer traffic and other key performance metrics. There are no plans to change the trade name of MBE's international locations. Currently, MBE has more than 1,000 units outside the U.S. -Business Wire