Most of us are well aware of the financial woes of the U.S. Postal Services. It’s bad. It’s real bad. It makes Allen Iverson’s’ financial statements look spectacular.

They have been trying to cut costs everywhere – from layoffs, to facility closures, to vehicle fleet downsizing. They have cut over 35% of their workforce within the last few years.Earlier this month they made the announcement that as of August 1 of this year they will halt Saturday deliveries.

This will be for all first class mail including letters, bills, cards, and catalogs. I guess that means no more Netflix deliveries on Saturday. I’ll just have to make it through my weekends without finding out what happens on the next disc of Meerkat Manor. They are estimating that getting rid of Saturday deliveries should save them about $2 billion a year. That should help a lot right?

Well, despite all of these cutbacks and cost saving plans, they are still losing $25 million a day! That’s $175 million a week, or $9.125 billion a year for those of us with calculators! Last year alone they lost $16 billion.

In an effort to battle these mind-numbing loses, they decided to do what I’m sure any of us would – start a clothing line. The U.S. Postal Service recently announced that they have entered into a licensing agreement with the Cleveland-based Wahconah Group to market a line of men’s fashion called “Rain Heat & Snow,” which will use technology to create “smart apparel,” also known as “wearable electronics.”

The brand “Rain Heat & Snow,” plays off the postal service motto “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” according to a USPS press release. “This agreement will put the Postal Service on the cutting edge of functional fashion,” said Postal Service Corporate Licensing Manager Steven Mills in the release.

“The company is establishing a showroom in the garment district of New York City to showcase their apparel lines to the fashion industry,” according to the statement.

Some of the items included are jackets with iPod controls built into the sleeve so you can easily crank up the volume to Wham!’s “Wake me Up Before you Go-Go” or just skip right ahead to “Truly Madly Deeply” by Savage Garden.

Currently the clothing line will focus on all-weather apparel for only men. Is this because they know women are smart enough not to buy this stuff?

Has anyone told them the market is already inundated with so called “smart apparel” from over a half dozen major clothing manufacturers which have been making these products for years?

Maybe if the U.S.P.S. stuck to their main function of processing mail and hired Source One to source their millions in indirect spend they wouldn’t have to come up with ridiculous ideas such as this.

Instead they will most likely need a nice juicy government bailout. But hey - at least the male postal workers will look good while they jam out on their daily rounds.
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Nick Haneiko

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  1. If there's one thing the US postal service represents it's high fashion!
    Great article. Keep up the great work Haneiko.