Postal Service to Close Budget Gap by Launching High-Tech Clothing Line for Men

Thursday, February 21, 2013
Newman diplays Postal Service fashion

Desperate for money to close its billion-dollar budget gap, the U.S. Postal Service has decided to develop its own line of all-weather apparel and accessories for men.


Known as “Rain Heat & Snow,” the retail line will include jackets, headgear, footwear and clothing compatible with modern technology, such as iPods. Cleveland-based Wahconah Group, Inc. will produce the new line for the Postal Service.


Agency licensing manager Steven Mills said the move will “put the Postal Service on the cutting edge of functional fashion.”


“The main focus will be to produce Rain Heat & Snow apparel and accessories using technology to create ‘smart apparel’—also known as wearable electronics,” Mills said in a prepared statement.


The men’s line will be sold in premium department stores (not local post offices) beginning in 2014. A women’s line is in the works as well.


The Postal Service said that its reason for branching out into the garment business is to strengthen its brand, as well as to generate revenue. The agency has reported a $1.3 billion loss for the first quarter of this year, which is due primarily to required pre-payments of retiree benefits.


It’s not the first time that the Postal Service has dabbled in the apparel industry. During the 1980s it launched a retail line of T-shirts, neckties and mugs. However, it was forced to abandon the enterprise after Congress received complaints from lobbyists that it was competing with private businesses.

-Noel Brinkerhoff, Danny Biederman


To Learn More:

Postal Service to Launch New Clothing Line in 2014 (by Josh Hicks, Washington Post)

Congress Struggles to Deliver Solution to Postal Problem It Created (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)

Manufactured Crisis About to Cripple the Post Office (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Should Postal Service Offer eMailboxes and Data Storage? Other Countries Do (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


Jeff H 11 years ago
Typical of governmental and quasi-governmental agencies: rather than actually focusing on doing what it's supposed to do--deliver mail--the postal service will try to do something it is not designed to do. Is that a loud sucking sound I hear?

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