By Larry Riggs
The U.S. Postal Service is doing itself no favors when it comes up with ridiculous marketing ideas as it faces existential threats.
The USPS lost $1.3 billion for the quarter ended Dec. 31 http://about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2013/pr13_021.htm and is in serious danger of running out of money later this year unless Congress acts.
This latest example of postal idiocy comes in a report that the USPS wants to launch a line of clothing. According to Yahoo News http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/postal-launch-clothing-line-2014-223202293–politics.html the postal service has signed a licensing deal to manufacture such items as jackets in which it will be easy to carry iPods and similar devices.
I’m not sure venturing into the garment trade is gonna do much to boost the postal service’s image when so many forces in and out of government want to weaken it, if not destroy it.
This is not the first time the USPS has come up with silly marketing proposals.
In late 2011, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe floated the idea of having individual post offices sell beer and wine as a way to help raise money to ease its financial problems.
This is not to be confused with a much more sensible bill introduced by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN). Among other things, this measure would lift regulations prohibiting the USPS from shipping beer and wine http://hometownsource.com/2013/02/14/sen-franken-introduces-legislation-to-reform-modernize-postal-service-preserve-saturday-delivery/, as reported by hometownsource.com.
By the way, Franken’s measure would also preserve Saturday mail delivery which the USPS recently said it would stop in August.
If passed into law, Franken’s bill might save the USPS from itself by expanding what it knows best: delivering mail and packages.