Where have all the Kinko's gone? In the dustbin of history.
The name was just erased from all 19 Tampa Bay locations as FedEx Corp., which bought Kinko's in 2004, passed the halfway mark in shortening the brand name at 1,900 stores nationally to FedEx Office.
As the retail face and drop-off spot for shipping services, stores retained Kinko's mission as a printing, binding, packaging and services hub for small- and medium-sized businesses. The retail products line (put your family photos in a 2010 calendar for $15 or custom Christmas cards at $1 apiece) has been expanded.
In fact, FedEx has opened 16 more stores locally in the past three years.
Named after a founder with kinky hair, by the early 1990s Kinko's grew into a high-tech hot spot when desktop publishing, photocopying and rented Macintosh computers were the rage.
Once the Internet took hold, however, business presentations and college papers no longer needed to be, ah, paper. Demand for around-the-clock print shops peaked as rivals cropped up. But FedEx Office stores kept Kinko's role as a second office for small business. Stores still rent desktop time and offer services via thumb drive or laptop.
Today, only four FedEx Office stores in the bay area are open 24 hours day.
"When I started in 1991, color printing had just come out and Kinko's was like an all-night corner coffee shop," said Scott Gerus, Tampa Bay district manager. "But we still specialize in last-minute rush jobs."
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After a successful test in Florida stores, Macy's is going nationwide with its "search and send" service.
That enables store clerks to find and order goods from the cash register over macys.com in sizes and colors they cannot find in their store. That includes men's big and tall, and extended sizes of women's shoes that are rarely carried in Macy's stores.
Products are delivered to the customer's home, usually with free shipping. It's an extension of a service that let Macy's clerks comb other Florida stores over the phone to fill orders and have them delivered to customers within days.
Other multichannel retailers such as JCPenney have been able to perform the online look-up and ordering for years. But Macy's first had to buy a cash register system with screens linked to the Internet.
Will snood make you go gaga?
We're about to learn if over-the-top Lady Gaga can be a fashion leader. The flamboyant rocker is one the first celebs wearing the snood, a wool or silk head covering that's a cross between a scarf and a hood. The fashion press says Burberry, YSL, Missoni and Donna Karan put circular-shaped snoods in their fall lines. Zara in Tampa last week gave its $29 version prominent front-door display space on arrival. "It's new, so people have not yet been asking for an explanation," said Casey Miller, an assistant manager who was a bit surprised Zara's first snood is in the men's department.
Mark Albright can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 893-8252.