The UPS Store Unveils New and Modern Store Design
Nation’s largest retail shipping chain reveals energetic concept to meet evolving consumer and small business owner needs in an e-commerce world
September 14, 2020 // Franchising.com // SAN DIEGO - The UPS Store, Inc., the nation’s largest shipping, postal, print and business services chain*, today unveiled a new and contemporary design of its retail stores, now available for its large network of franchise owners. The first set of fully redesigned stores, which include the first major change to the stores’ layout in two decades, have opened in several markets around the country.
“In a rapidly changing business environment, The UPS Store seeks to create a place where business happens in real time,” said Tim Davis, president of The UPS Store, Inc. “We’re elevating the retail experience to cater to today’s small business owner and consumer, while helping drive growth and profitability for our network of franchise owners.”
The transformed look and layout create a more seamless in-store customer experience while reflecting the new demands of a world driven by tech and e-commerce. Compared to the previous design, the new stores are more open in their layout to highlight the breadth of services, brighter in both color and lighting and feature more digital elements than ever before.
The new design is part of a continued strategy to help The UPS Store® franchisees thrive in a highly competitive environment. In addition to its current network of franchisees, the new design will be standard for new franchise owners, and the retailer offers both a veteran incentive program and a minority incentive program for new franchisee candidates looking to enter the network. To thank and honor veterans for their service, the veteran incentive program provides $10,000 off the initial franchise fee. The UPS Store is committed to fostering diversity through the minority incentive program. First time minority franchisees are eligible to receive an approximate 50% discount off the franchise fee. Both veteran and minority franchisees who take part in these programs will develop their location under the new store design.
Evolution of The UPS Store Design
The redesign is a result of extensive research and planning involving key stakeholders, including franchisees, small business owners, consumers and retail industry experts. The UPS Store design team worked with Columbus, Ohio-based design firm Chute Gerdeman to develop the new look, feel and layout.
“We embarked on a collaborative strategic process that shed light on the need to convey transparency within the in-store experience,” said Jeff Wietrzykowski, creative director at Chute Gerdeman. “The new store design radically opens up the retail space, highlighting the variety of key services that The UPS Store centers offer while communicating trust and collaboration to its customers.”
The UPS Store, Inc. spent four years building, testing and tweaking numerous prototype centers in various communities across the country to refine the design. Rooted in functionality and accessibility, it is intended to enhance space utilization and consumer appeal in response to changing customer needs.
Design Features and Elements
The new in-store experience for The UPS Store network resembles a contemporary open concept workshop, with light-industrial design elements and visible work areas that invite customers to easily navigate the store and interact with associates. In addition, the redesign includes an option to include 24/7 smart lockers near the front entry, allowing convenient and secure package pick-ups at any time, day or night.
Key design features and layout elements include:
- A reimagined open floor plan eliminating walls and dividers, and instead grouping the store into functional zones thoughtfully designed for optimal foot traffic flow and space utilization.
- The front of the store is accessible 24 hours a day, with a security gate closing off other sections after hours. This entry zone can house mailboxes, smart lockers and self-serve printers.
- The service counter area is where customers can interact with associates during business hours for core services including packing, shipping and printing. In addition, this section offers space for expert consultation and additional services including notary.
- A dedicated print consultation area with seating for customers, allowing center associates to provide an unrushed experience to explain all printing and design services.
- The back of the store has been transformed to showcase the open workspace. Full sightlines into this area allow customers to see the expert work that goes behind the packing and shipping process.
- More fixtures and services incorporating technology, such as digital menu boards and smart lockers are present throughout the store.
- Oak plank flooring greets the customers, adding warmth to the space, while the workshop flooring is finished with a concrete aesthetic to convey a modern industrial feel.
- Fresh, bright colors throughout the store stand in dramatic contrast to the monochromatic color palette of the previous generation of stores.
- Modular pieces allow for franchisees to customize the space for different situations, based on customer volume or workspace needed.
Deemed essential during the pandemic, most The UPS Store centers have remained open to provide a wide array of services including shipping, mail and package receiving, printing, scanning, faxing and notary. General consumers and small business owners alike rely on easy and safe access to these services now more than ever, and the store redesign improves the way these needs are met.
About The UPS Store
With more than 5,000 locations across North America, The UPS Store® network comprises the nation’s largest franchise system of retail shipping, postal, print and business service centers*. The UPS Store locations in the U.S. are independently owned and operated by licensed franchisees of The UPS Store, Inc., a subsidiary of UPS (NYSE: UPS). Services, products, pricing and hours of operation may vary by location. For additional information on The UPS Store, visit the website.
In 2020, The UPS Store ranked #5 overall in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 and #1 in the Postal & Business Centers category for the 30th consecutive year. Follow The UPS Store on Twitter, and like The UPS Store on Facebook.
*Per IBISWorld Packing & Shipping Service Franchises US Industry Report OD5561 March 2020
SOURCE The UPS Store
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