SAN DIEGO—The UPS Store has developed a nontraditional retail location tucked inside of hotel lobbies and convention centers to meet the needs of hotel management and their customers.
“We are always looking for new opportunities to expand, as long as they are the right fit for our brand and business model,” said Chris Adkins, VP of franchise and business development at The UPS Store. “The hospitality industry is a natural fit where we can provide value to hotel properties through the convenient on-site business services that we offer guests in addition to other financial benefits that can impact the hotel.”
Among the services , The UPS Store business center provides shipping, packaging, print and document services, shipping supplies, postal services, 24-hour computer time rental and business services. In addition, there are customization services such as parcel management and group event logistics services, depending on the needs of the guest.
The UPS Store retail locations can be found in more than 60 hotels around the country and the number continues to grow. Some of the hotels include the following:
- Palmer House Hilton
- San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina
- Omni Dallas
- Omni Nashville
- Tampa Marriott Waterside
- Baltimore Marriott Waterfront
- Austin Hilton
“In our experience, The UPS Store adds value because our team becomes a partner with the hotel,” said Les Jackson, franchisee at the Omni Nashville. “We work closely with the hotel staff to ensure needs of the guests are being met. Having a direct relationship and engagement with the hotel allows The UPS Store to offer a higher level of service and convenience for guests, groups and hotel. It also allows The UPS Store associates to adopt the hotel’s culture; flexibility in design, allowing the business center to blend with the hotel by adapting its decor requirements and look and feel; and flexible hours, allowing The UPS Store services to be available when most needed at the hotel.”
For hoteliers seeking to gauge the return on investment as a result of adding The UPS Store, there are benefits drawn from a lease agreement.
“The UPS Store typically is in a lease agreement with the property, which allows the hotel to generate revenue from the agreement,” said Jackson. “The relationship helps convert what sometimes is a cost center into a profit center for the property. In addition, The UPS Store provides name recognition, which is important to convention attendees and hotel guests for their shipping, printing and other needs.”
There is also a potential cost savings. “When The UPS Store manages package handling and inventory for a hotel, it can save the hotel time and money, from both a staff training, and a package loss perspective,” said Adkins. “By having us as their business center, hotels can turn a potential non-revenue driving element of the business into a key asset for the location, drawing businesspeople in for all their on-the-go needs. Services we provide could also bring in outside foot traffic from other patrons who may not have visited the hotel otherwise.”
The UPS Store is also an ideal match for convention-center hotels.
“Our franchisees have the flexibility, nimbleness and can-do attitude that is necessary in the convention business,” he said. “Meeting planners and conventioneers can rely on The UPS Store’s comprehensive parcel management to ensure that packages are delivered and received for each show and event. We handle freight receiving, which is a critical component for large conventions and something that takes great attention to detail. The UPS Store receives the packages, stores them and makes sure they get to the right place on the convention floor. Once the event concludes, The UPS Store can handle package pick-ups and outgoing shipments with multiple carriers.”
It’s not just about meeting the needs of business travelers or convention attendees. Vacationers get as much use out of The UPS Store, but in different ways.
“The Omni Louisville location helps guests package, ship and mail all of the guest’s tourist purchases to avoid taking them on the plane,” said Adkins. “In a similar concept, we are also located in popular tourist areas such as Las Vegas, San Diego, Dallas and Tampa, FL. We are in places where vacationers have an easy way to send their purchases back to family.”
Jackson urges hoteliers to consider working with The UPS Store on-property as a partnership. “The UPS Store team works with the hotel to understand factors that can make it a profitable venture for the hotel and the franchisee, such as the size and makeup of the hotel, meeting-room capacity, possible proximity to a convention center, number of events and more,” Jackson concluded.