Nearly five months after FedEx ( FDX) announced the
purchase of Kinko's for $2.4 billion in cash, it said it would be rebranding the separately run unit as FedEx Kinko's Office and Print Centers. The company unveiled the new FedEx Kinko's logo and brand to employees at an event in Dallas earlier in the day, while also announcing a timetable for the rollout of FedEx services at 1,100 stores in the U.S. By the third-quarter, the company said its day-definite ground and time-definite global express shipping services will be available at all FedEx Kinko's stores. "This new brand leverages the historical strengths of both companies while powerfully redefining the future of the business services marketplace," said Fred Smith, chairman and CEO. "The FedEx Kinko's Office and Print Center brand will serve as a beacon to businesses large and small searching for a total business solutions center." Indeed, FedEx said that its consolidated returns service, which helps e-tailers manage their shipping needs, would be in place by the holiday season, along with "pack and ship" capabilities. All told, FedEx said that it will spend $40 million over the next two fiscal years to rebrand the company with new signage and advertisements. These expenses are not expected to hurt FedEx's operating results, however, and were factored into the better-than-expected earnings guidance it gave on April 8, when it said it would earn between $4 and $4.20 a share in fiscal 2005. The rollout and rebranding are the company's attempt to make up for three years of lost time. In 2001, rival UPS ( UPS) purchased MailBoxes, Etc. and rebranded the company's 4,500 stores as "The UPS Store," using the brick-and-mortar outlets to help extend ground shipping, which is UPS' bread-and-butter business. In reaction to the news, FedEx shares fell 94 cents, or 1.3%, to $73.21, while UPS fell 50 cents, or 0.7%, to $71.30.