|Key people||Brian Philips (CEO)|
|Products||Photocopying, printing, shipping|
|Website||FedEx Office Homepage|
FedEx Office (officially FedEx Office Print & Ship Services, Inc., formerly FedEx Kinko's, and earlier simply Kinko's) is a chain of stores that provide a retail outlet for FedEx Express and FedEx Ground (including Home Delivery) shipping, as well as printing, copying, and binding services. Unlike its main competitor, The UPS Store, all FedEx Office stores are corporate-owned.
The company was founded as Kinko's in 1970 by Paul Orfalea, whose nickname was "Kinko" because of his curly hair. Its first copy shop, which Orfalea opened with a sidewalk copy machine, was in the college community of Isla Vista next to the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He left the company in 2000, following a dispute with the investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice ("CDR"), to which he had sold a large stake in the company three years earlier.
As Orfalea later disclosed in his autobiography, it took an enormous amount of work by a small army of lawyers at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher to disentangle him from Kinko's. The problem was that rather than adopt the traditional franchising model (by which the promoter creates a corporation that sells franchises), he had built the company as a series of loosely connected personal partnerships between each store owner and himself. By 1997, there were over 127 Kinko's partnerships in existence. All of them had to be carefully dismantled and rolled into a single S corporation in order to convert the company to a more centralized corporate-owned business model. Orfalea and several other key partners decided to go that route because they believed it would make the company more efficient (he was wasting too much time mediating disputes between different factions of Kinko's partnerships), and would enable the oldest partners, including himself, to cash out smoothly and engineer a transition of the company to a new generation of managers. However, the new structure also made it easier for CDR to gradually force him out of his own company.
Kinko's corporate headquarters was based in Ventura, California for many years, but in 2002, the company relocated to Galleria Tower in Dallas, Texas. In February 2004 Kinko's was bought by FedEx for $2.4 billion and then became known as FedEx Kinko's Office and Print Centers. Prior to the acquisition by FedEx, most Kinko's stores were open 24 hours a day. After the acquisition, FedEx reduced the hours for many locations. On June 2, 2008, FedEx announced that they were rebranding FedEx Kinko's as FedEx Office, the retail branch of the FedEx Corporation. As of Spring 2010, some stores and branding still showed FedEx Kinko's signage. To ease customer confusion during the transition period, many stores displayed a large purple sign in the window that said "Kinko's Inside."
Currently, Brian Phillips is the President and Chief Executive Officer, following Ken May's departure on March 7, 2008. The company's primary clientele consists of small business and home office clients. According to the company, there are nearly 2,000 operating facilities. With over $2 billion in revenues, the company is the 7th largest printing company in North America. The company's primary competitors in the crowded North American market include The UPS Store, Office Depot, OfficeMax, AlphaGraphics, Staples, Sir Speedy, and VistaPrint.
Kinko's pursued an aggressive international expansion strategy during the boom years of the 1990s and early 2000s. Countries currently hosting FedEx Office centers outside of the U.S. include Canada, South Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates. Kinko's formerly operated in Australia, Mexico, and the Netherlands but withdrew from those markets in late 2008 due to low consumer demand for Kinko's services. During the 2008–2012 global recession, FedEx Office subsequently withdrew from China, Japan, and the United Kingdom. The Japanese operations were sold to Konica Minolta.
Products and services
Besides traditional full-service copy and print shop services, all stores also provide a number of self-service features: color and monochrome photocopiers, fax machines, digital photo printer kiosks, and several desktop computer rentals, of which one always has an image scanner and some design software (mainly Adobe Systems applications) installed. The computers available for rental are connected to at least one color and one monochrome laser printer (some newer stores have only a color printer but charge less for monochrome prints). The stores also offer a selection of office supplies and business books for retail purchase.
- Forbes: Kinko's cuts ties to founder
- Paul Orfalea and Ann Marsh, Copy This!: How I Turned Dyslexia, ADHD, and 100 Square Feet Into a Company Called Kinko's (New York: Workman Publishing, 2007), 171-176.
- Orfalea, 60.
- Orfalea, 173-175.
- "FedEx Office". December 15, 2011. FedEx.com. Retrieved 27 February 2012.
- "GAOnline 101 Top North American Printers". Graphic Arts Monthly.
- Case, Brendan, FedEx to Sell Office Unit’s Japan Business to Konica Bloomberg May 10, 2012 Retrieved on September 28, 2012