Facing Billions in Losses, USPS to Sell Apparel Line in 2014
"Neither snow, nor rain nor gloom of night" has taken on a different meaning as the U.S. Postal Service plans to launch a new product line of apparel and accessories under the brand name, "Rain Heat & Snow."
The Postal Service's unofficial motto, "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds," serves as a backdrop for a licensing agreement the organization has signed with Cleveland-based fashion apparel company Wahconah Group Inc. The agreement leverages Postal Service intellectual property by introducing the Rain Heat & Snow brand of apparel and accessory products.
"This agreement will put the Postal Service on the cutting edge of functional fashion," said Steven Mills, corporate licensing manager for the Postal Service. "The main focus will be to produce Rain Heat & Snow apparel and accessories using technology to create 'smart apparel'—also known as wearable electronics."
"The Wahconah Group is excited to be working with the U.S. Postal Service in launching this all-weather line of clothing," said chief executive officer Isaac Crawford. "The products will build on the rich American history of this iconic brand, creating specialized apparel for consumers, at affordable prices, delivering something new and exciting that retailers can offer their customers."
Wahconah Group Inc. is a minority-owned company based in Cleveland with extensive experience in the fashion apparel industry. The firm designs, sources, manufactures and sells apparel with a focus on the men's apparel market. The company is establishing a showroom in the garment district of New York City to showcase their apparel lines to the fashion industry.
Under the licensing agreement with the Postal Service, Wahconah will initially introduce Rain Heat & Snow apparel and accessories for men with future plans for a women's line. The goal is to sell this product in premier department and specialty stores.
The postal service has been trying to find a way to increase revenue in the face of history losses. The agency lost nearly $16 billion in 2012, and its first quarter earnings report this year showed another $1.3 billion in the red. In addition to looking for new streams of revenue, the postal service plans to end Saturday mail delivery in an attempt to stay afloat financially.