First Look: UPS Store gets design makeover — first big change in 20 years

Marianne Wilson
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The nation’s largest shipping, postal, print and business services chain has gotten a makeover.

The UPS Store unveiled a new, contemporary look designed to offer a more seamless in-store experience. The first set of fully redesigned stores, which include the first major change to UPS stores’ layout in two decades, have opened in several markets around the country. The stores are brighter in both color and lighting and have more digital elements when compared to the previous UPS design. They also have a more open layout that highlights the breadth of available services beyond just packing and shipping.

    “The UPS Store seeks to create a place where business happens in real time,” said Tim Davis, president of The UPS Store, which has more than 5,000 locations across North America. “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 UPS Store in-store experience has been redesigned to resemble 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 employees.  In addition, the redesign includes an option to include smart lockers near the front entry, allowing convenient and secure package pick-ups at any time of the day or night.

    The redesign is a result of a years-long process involving extensive research, consultation and tests with key stakeholders. Research, strategy, planning and design was led by Columbus, Ohio-based Chute Gerdeman.

    “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.”

    Key features and layout elements of the new design are listed below.

    • The reimagined open floor plan eliminates walls and dividers. It groups the store into functional zones 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.
    • There is a dedicated print consultation area with seating for customers, allowing   employees 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 incorporate technology, such as digital menu boards and smart lockers.
    • 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.
    • Modular pieces allow for franchisees to customize the space for different situations, based on customer volume or workspace needed.
    • The monochromatic color palette of the previous generation of stores has been replaced by fresh, bright colors.