MAIL BOXES ETC., the San Diego, California franchiser of retail business communications and postal service centers, is moving into the Japanese market through a master franchise agreement with a subsidiary of big convenience store operator FAMILYMART CO., LTD. The partners preliminarily plan to develop more than 1,000 MBE centers over the next decade by capitalizing on the expected growth of the small office/home office market. They also hope the MBE stores will appeal to convenience- oriented consumers. The first MBE outlet, located in Tokyo, could be open as soon as this fall. Initially, the stores will be directly owned and operated by a joint venture to be formed by the two companies. Once the business gets off the ground, Mail Boxes' local affiliate will switch to franchises. MBE is a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. OFFICE PRODUCTS CO.
An exchange rate of ¥145=$1.00 was used in this report.