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FedEx Renounces Any Plans for Franchising in U.S. after Joining IFA

DALLAS (Blue MauMau) - Some in the package shipping franchise sector are wondering what FedEx's next move will be with its struggling Kinko's network. FedEx acquired the chain in 2004 for $2.4 billion dollars.  On June 2, FedEx announced that it was changing the Kinko's trademark to FedEx Office to better describe the wide range of services available at its retail centers, and to take advantage of its own recognized name. Now adding more curiosity to the mix, FedEx has joined the International Franchise Association, according to an announcement made by IFA in its recent issue of Franchising World magazine. The burning question asked by competing chains is whether FedEx is positioning itself to franchise Kinko's retail outlets in the U.S.?

But a spokesperson for the Dallas-based FedEx Office headquarters said in an interview today, "We joined IFA because we have 20 franchise locations outside the U.S. and we just see it as a good resource in helping to service our franchisees. We do not have plans at this time to start franchising inside the U.S."

In addition to its strategic decision to minimize the use of the Kinko’s trade name, FedEx announced in June that it would record a charge of approximately $891 million in its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended May 31.  It stated that the charge relates predominately to a one-time, non-cash impairment fee associated with the decision to use the Kinko’s trade name and goodwill resulting from its acquisition.

They also stated that the goodwill impairment charge "reflects a decline in the current fair value of the FedEx Office unit in light of current economic conditions, the unit’s recent and forecasted performance and the decision to reduce the rate of store expansion."

Brian D. Philips was named president and CEO of FedEx Office after the senior management staff was reduced and restructured to better support execution of the company's strategy and to control costs.  Earlier this year, the company reduced future capital commitments by slowing the rate of expansion from about 300 locations in fiscal year 2008 to about 70 in fiscal 2009.

In their announcement they said that these changes at FedEx Office are the latest in a series of moves designed to more sharply focus the division on profitable core revenue growth and incremental shipping volume, which contributes about $1 billion of revenues annually to FedEx Express and FedEx Ground.

FedEx Office touts that it is the world's leading provider of document solutions and business services.  It has a global network of about 1,900 digitally connected locations in 11 countries. 

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About Janet Sparks

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Janet Sparks is the former publisher of the Continental Franchise Review, an industry newsletter that covered the franchise community for over 30 years. She has also been a columnist for a leading franchise magazine for the past 13 years. Today she is an independent journalist who engages in investigative reporting, tackling complex issues that impact the franchise industry.

Janet can be reached at or at 303-799-7398.