Post Office hopes new clothing line will deliver profits

There's no word yet whether the new Postal Service clothing line will include safety-orange vests. (Photo: Stephen Lam, Reuters)
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Trish Anderton

The U.S. Postal Service hopes to turn its fortunes around with a whole new kind of special delivery: a clothing line.

The brand, dubbed “Rain Heat and Snow,” will feature all-weather outerwear and sportswear for men. It will also be gadget-friendly, Post Office spokesman Roy Betts told Yahoo! News.

“If you like your iPod, you can plug it right into your jacket, regulate the volume and make your selections right on your sleeve,” Betts explained. He added that the independent agency hoped to expand into women’s clothing later. The clothes would be produced by Cleveland-based Wahconah Group, Inc., under a licensing deal.

The Post Office has fallen on hard times lately – partly due to the digital revolution, and partly due to a congressional mandate requiring it to pre-fund retiree benefits, as The Atlantic explains. It recently announced it would cut Saturday deliveries to help its bottom line, but Congress has questioned whether it has the legal authority to do so.

The early reaction to the clothing line on Twitter has been less than kind. Out of a random sampling of 87 tweets, 42 are negative while just 2 express support for the idea. (The rest do not express a clear opinion.)

“Ok so the Post office is going broke and this is your brillant idea. Good luck with that guys!!!” laughs @TheGr8tScott.

“Us post office entering the clothing industry is like Kenneth Cole trying to deliver mail,” writes @swellinc17

“US Post Office coming out with own clothing line : Wonder if you can wear it on Saturdays?” muses @JolenesTrailer.

But @wai01 is keeping an open mind: in response to a CNN tweet asking is people would wear the new clothing line, s/he writes:  “Maybe. If it looks good enough.”

The Postal Service already has a commercial licensing program that includes sporting goods and apparel, according to its website.