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DHL tests ‘pop-up’ store concept in US

Like food trucks, mobile DHL ServicePoint stores serve up international express services

Global courier DHL Express (OTCMKTS: DPSGY) has dipped its wing into the “pop-up” store concept, taking advantage of what company executives see as a trend for serving customers’ shipping needs.

“With the rise in popularity of mobile pop-ups for food, fashion and more, we saw an excellent opportunity to offer customers a similar type of convenience experience,” said DHL U.S. CEO Greg Hewitt in a statement.

The country’s first mobile DHL ServicePoint store is currently stationed in the Westfield Mall parking lot in Silver Spring, Maryland.

The mobile unit offers about 2,200 cubic feet of space raised up and down by a hydraulic lift. It is also equipped with wireless computer systems and accommodates both domestic and international parcel shipper needs.

In addition, shipping supplies, such as bubble wrap, packing tape and DHL-branded boxes, are available in the mobile stores. The company said in the next several months it plans to enable customers to pick up their incoming packages from these mobile sites.

DHL contracted with design firm Flexetail to create its first mobile store.

“Although the new pop-up store will remain in its Silver Spring location for the foreseeable future, it can be relocated as needed, based on changes in local shipping trends,” the company said.

DHL said it plans to open additional mobile ServicePoint locations in other major cities across the U.S. by the end of the year.

For years, DHL has operated more than 7,100 independently owned stores in the U.S. market, which provide international express services.

However, the company last month opened its own fully branded DHL retail stores in Hialeah, Florida, and Chicago. DHL officials said the timing is right for the new company-owned stores.

“As pandemic stay-at-home orders expire and businesses reopen, we are seeing an increase in the volume of international shipments coming through the Miami-Dade area,” said Richard Saavedra, vice president and general manager for DHL Express in the Southeast.

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Click for more FreightWaves/American Shipper articles by Chris Gillis.

Chris Gillis

Located in the Washington, D.C. area, Chris Gillis primarily reports on regulatory and legislative topics that impact cross-border trade. He joined American Shipper in 1994, shortly after graduating from Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Md., with a degree in international business and economics.