Sunday, May 6, 2007

Culture Clash at FedEx Kinko's

Posted on Sun, May 6, 2007 at 4:00 AM

From Saturday's New York Times comes this story about the FedEx Kinko's merger: "The tale of Kinko’s metamorphosis from a free-wheeling group of copy centers to a buttoned-down subsidiary of FedEx plays like a corporate version of the classic Japanese movie Rashômon"

FedEx bought Kinko's in 2003 and has since sought to bring more structure to the copying centers, which were started by Paul Orfalea, who was nicknamed "Kinko" in the 1970s due to his curly coif. Orfalea and many Kinko's workers miss the more easy-going days.

In the mid-1990s, Orfalea sold a large portion of the business to a private equity firm with a eye toward bringing in more corporate accounts. That firm began the process of making the Kinko's stores more uniformly run and then sold the company to FedEx, which is continuing the process.

Orfalea tells the Times, he won't go in a Kinko's now and is quoted as saying, “It gives me a stomachache to see what’s happened to the place.”


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