"I just have to run down to the drugstore to ship a package, hon."
Don't be surprised if your spouse offers that explanation as he or she heads out the door someday soon. Under a new agreement with Walgreens, DHL will set up retail outlets in the drugstore chain's stores across the United States. "DHL Shipping Spots" will be staffed by Walgreens associates at photo counters, where they will weigh, label, and ship packages to domestic or international destinations. The instore service has fared well in test markets, according to Walgreens marketing executive George Riedl.
For the Big Three express carriers, getting their names out in front of consumers and small business owners is only half the battle; they also have to offer convenience and accessibility if they want to earn customers' loyalty. That's why UPS has shipping stations at Staples and Office Depot, FedEx is ensconced at its own FedEx Kinko's outlets, and DHL has an arrangement with OfficeMax. But those are business-oriented environments where you'd expect to find shipping services. With the Walgreens deal covering some 6,500 stores by the end of this year, DHL could well make shipping packages as easy as buying a bottle of cough syrup.