The UPS Store network is the worlds largest franchisor of retail shipping, postal, printing and business service centers. Today, there are nearly 4,700 independently owned The UPS Store locations in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Canada. The UPS Store, Inc., franchiser of The UPS Store brand, is a wholly owned subsidiary of United Parcel Service (UPS). As of August 2014, internal company web pages place the number of open UPS Stores to about 4300. The Mail Boxes Etc. concept was introduced in 1980 as an alternative to the post office. In 2001, UPS acquired Mail Boxes Etc., Inc. The two companies introduced The UPS Store brand in 2003, and approximately 3,000 locations were re-branded. In the year following the re-branding, Mail Boxes Etc., Inc. sold more than 500 new The UPS Store franchise locations in the United States. The UPS Store franchise locations remain locally owned and operated. In 2012, Mail Boxes Etc., Inc. changed its name to The UPS Store, Inc. The UPS Store has more than 4,300 independently owned locations within the United States and abroad. The UPS Store franchise locations offer business services to small-office/home-office (SOHO) marketing, corporate offices and consumers.