The Kinko's Story begins with founder Paul Orfalea's belief in the power of the entrepreneurial spirit and a strong commitment to values and corporate responsibility. The concept was sparked when Orfalea, while a student at the University of Southern California (USC), noticed a copy machine in the library and realized that few people had easy access to this new technology. Orfalea, a Los Angeles native, moved to Santa Barbara to make this happen.
In 1970, with $5,000 borrowed from a local bank, Orfalea rented a 100-square foot space next to a hamburger stand near the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) campus. This tiny Kinko's featured a single copier with 2.5-cent copies, an offset press, film processing and a small section of school supplies. He named it "Kinko's" after his college nickname attributed to his curly hair.
This retail concept quickly caught on. By 1975, Kinko's had opened its 24th store with locations scattered throughout California, and that number more than tripled in the next four years alone.
Orfalea's belief in creating a company culture built on common goals and trust helped grow Kinko's into a world-class global business. From 1999-2001, Kinko's earned three consecutive spots on the Fortune Magazine list of "America's Best Companies to Work For".
At Kinko's, co-workers were always partners in the truest sense of the word. From the beginning, individual branch managers shared in the profits of their branch, keeping them focused on excellent customer service to build sales and tight financial control to manage costs. Later, profit-sharing was expanded to include in-branch co-workers as well.
Another example of creating a unique company culture involved Kinko's approach to its environmental policies. Over time, many of the young, idealistic co-workers who worked at Kinko's shared a concern over the impact of American businesses on the environment. Rather than hide from the issue, Kinko's chose to embrace the opportunity to become an environmental steward. In 1997, Kinko's adopted an Environmental Vision Statement that identified environmental performance targets that the company aims to reach as it serves customers. As a result of these efforts, Kinko's continues to earn recognition, including three awards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/U.S. Department of Energy in 2001, 2002, and 2003.
The company has continued to grow into a digitally-connected network of 1,700 locations world-wide and more than 22,000 team members in 11 countries today.
In early 2004, Kinko's was acquired by FedEx Corporation and became the transportation and shipping giant's fourth operating company. Two months later, Kinko's was rebranded as FedEx Kinko's Office and Print Services. For Kinko's, these changes added the resources to continue expansion of its corporate document outsourcing business and international operations.
FedEx Kinko's offers 24-hour access to technology for color printing, finishing and presentation services, shipping, videoconferencing, outsourcing, managed services, high-speed Internet access, and Web-based, on-demand printing and document management solutions that meet the needs of consumers, small businesses and corporate customers.
"Being part of FedEx only strengthens the value we bring to our customers," said Kenneth A. May, FedEx Kinko's President and Chief Executive Officer. "As we begin to explore the many opportunities in front of us, one thing will always remain the same - our commitment to our customers and to our team members."
FedEx Kinko's future promises to be as exciting, groundbreaking and successful as its first three decades. As technology advances and changes the traditional way business is done, FedEx Kinko's is well poised to continue leading the way.
In 1970, University of Southern California graduate Paul Orfalea began selling school supplies and copies to students. With a $5,000 loan, he opened the first Kinko's in a former hamburger stand near the University of California at Santa Barbara.
By the close of the decade, Kinko's had 80 stores located primarily near colleges and universities.
The decade marked the company's shift from a campus focus to meeting the needs of the burgeoning small office/home office market. Kinko's locations began offering recycled paper in 1980, a move that reflected the company's growing commitment to the environment.
Kinko's became a pioneer in serving customers 24 hours a day. The first round-the-clock store opened in Chicago in 1985.
Kinko's opened its first international store in Canada in 1983, and the company was operating 420 stores by the end of the decade.
The '90s furthered Kinko's reputation of making technology accessible: In 1993, Kinko's and Federal Express Corporation partnered to add FedEx Express drop box in almost every Kinko's location. By 1998, the partnership enabled Kinko's to provide among the latest available FedEx drop-off times, and FedEx World Service Centers opened in select locations.
Also in 1993, Kinko's and Sprint introduced Kinko's first public videoconferencing rooms. Kinko's now offers more than 150 high-quality videoconferencing rooms that make in-person meetings possible without the high cost of travel. In 1995, Kinko's added digital color copiers and printers, making the use of color feasible for everyday needs. In late 1997, Kinko's began offering high-speed Internet and e-mail access through its dedicated Computer Service area.
Launched at the beginning of the 1995/1996 school year, Kinko's Partnership in Education quickly became the company's primary charitable effort. The program builds relationships between Kinko's stores and schools in their communities. As part of its ongoing environmental efforts, Kinko's adopted its Environmental Vision Statement in 1997. The statement identifies the environmental performance targets the company aims for as it serves customers.
By 1997, Kinko's had more than 850 stores in the United States and internationally.
2000 And Beyond
In 2000, Kinko's created the "U.S. Environmental Branch of the Year" award to recognize outstanding conservation of the natural resources required by Kinko's every day.
By 2001, the introduction of Print to Kinko's and Kinko's DocStore made Kinko's a leader "clicks and bricks" integration of online and in-store services.
In 2004, Kinko's was acquired by FedEx and was rebranded as FedEx Kinko's Office and Print Services. For Kinko's, the move added the resources to continue expansion of its corporate document outsourcing business and international operations.
FedEx Kinko's currently operates a digitally connected network of more than 21,000 team members and 1,500 stores worldwide, including international locations in Canada, Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands, Australia, China, Mexico, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.
The Kinkos Philosophy
Each Kinko's co-worker carried this simple yet profound card to remind them of primary objectives and values. Paul Orfalea believes that co-workers are the foundation to any company's success and growth. Paul wanted all co-workers to know that they were part of the Kinko's family. Work and Life balance were also very important, as well as treating each other with respect.
The Kinko's Philosophy Card states: