Sure stopping Saturday mail delivery will save $2 billion a year, but the USPS is facing a $15.9 billion budget deficit. It’s already cut jobs (over the past 15 years, about 500,000) and recently raised the price of a first-class stamp again (from 45 cents to 46 cents). Good efforts but according to Richard Geddes, an assistant policy professor at Cornell and an American Enterprise Institute scholar who has studied the postal service, “first class mail has fallen from 103 billion pieces in 2000 to 74 billion pieces in 2011.” That’s 29 billion pieces at .44 each = $12.7 billion. What this agency needs is a make-over, right?
In search for new revenue, the (who knew?) creative USPS will launch a clothing line called Rain Heat & Snow. Fingers crossed for a 2014 deal with Nordstrom. With the help of the fashion apparel company Wahconah Group of Cleveland, OH, the USPS will sell “smart apparel” – men’s sportswear and outwear designed to accommodate electronic wiring for iPods. Watch out NorthFace and REI. Think about it: the postal service has seen more clothing catalogs than any other business in the world! Next delivery is a women’s line. Should be interesting, when you consider that this legendary protector of privacy knows more than just Victoria’s Secret.