Media Summit – UPS Store Roll-Out

Malcolm Houser, the COO of the The UPS Store chain in Canada, ran through a brisk presentation about what his firm has been up to and why it works.

It was interesting because his company put a LOT of thought into it and dismissed a lot of the things that many other companies have ended up doing, often for no other reason than  copying what was out there.

They looked at 3rd party advertising, and even went into retailers that had that model, and then dismissed it — seeing no real value.

They looked at loading up the screen with stuff like news headlines and weather and stocks and on and on, and dismissed it — seeing no point amd wondering why other network operators insisted on distracting consumers from the key message. Hallelujah! SOMEBODY gets it!

They also decided there was no cookie-cutter approach to placing screens, and have made that determination store by store.

And they kept the loop down to 2.5 minutes — though I could make an easy argument the 30 second spots he showed were toooo long. Fifteen seconds is heaps.

Houser pitched franchisees on the offer, boiling it down to simple options: purchase the gear and pay a monthly fee, or choose from 3 and 5 year leases that roll in the recurring monthly fee. He got commitments from 72 stores out of the gate and now has 77 installed, and expects to about double that by year’s end.

The thing that is moving store operators is the measurement results: “Stores which installed digital signage increased sales an average of 8.92% – an increase of 3.99% over the rest of the network.”

Using my statistics decoder ring, I THINK what that really means is sales were up just a hair shy of a net 4% because of those screens.

That’s a good story and Houser is to be thanked for sharing that. As we all know, we hear all kinds of anecdotal stuff but few retailers step up and actually share it.

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One Comment on “Media Summit – UPS Store Roll-Out”


  1. Malcolm’s presentations was one of the better ones at the summit, and one of particular interest to our company.

    I was particularly pleased to see that no attempt was made to “oversell” Digital Signage either within UPS during its development, or during the presentation to us at the summit.

    Keeping the focus off of revenue growth and on the providing of information to customers is often not an easy concept to sell to management, but he made it happen. And his presentation will help us present similar statements to our management (and get away with it…).

    4% revenue improvement may not sound that great, but I look at that as fantastic when you consider that that the 4% more than paid for Digital Signage within 6-8 months. We are often looking at 2-5 year ROI, so less than 12 months is quite a rarity.

    Well done, UPS


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