The UPS Store® concept was introduced in 1980 as Mail Boxes Etc.® - a convenient alternative to the post office. Throughout its evolution, it has continued to define and lead the business services category it created. In 2001, UPS® acquired Mail Boxes Etc., Inc. In 2003, the two companies introduced The UPS Store® brand. On April 7, 2003, approximately 3,000 Mail Boxes Etc. locations in the United States (at the time, nearly 90% of the domestic U.S. network) re-branded as The UPS Store and began offering lower (around 20% on average) UPS-direct shipping rates. In 2012, Mail Boxes Etc., Inc. became The UPS Store, Inc. The centers remain locally owned and operated, and continue to offer a variety of packing, shipping, freight, postal, printing and business services, with convenient locations and world-class service.