Albany, New York--Shipping giant UPS is hoping to revitalize Mail Boxes Etc., a chain it purchased in 2001. The 3,300 MBE franchisees across the country have the option of renaming their outlets The UPS Store, and those that convert to the new brand will also offer lower shipping prices.

But the plan may run into a roadblock. PalmerSohmer LLP, a Hanover, Massachusetts-based law firm, has announced plans to file a class-action lawsuit to derail the rebranding program. Many MBE owners are concerned the rebranding program forces them to agree to changes in their franchise contracts that will hurt business. Also, the conversion and new shipping rates would put MBE stores at a competitive disadvantage compared to other shipping outlets and would require the store to exclusively use UPS for shipping, according to a press release from PalmerSohmer. A UPS spokesman said The UPS Store plan does not require stores only use UPS. -The Business Review