MSNBC: Zippo Creates Clothing Line

From MSNBC

BRADFORD, Pa. — Zippo lighters have retained their retro cool even as the tiny northwestern Pennsylvania company that makes them gets ready to celebrate its 80th anniversary and 500 millionth lighter next year.

But with pressure increasing on folks not to smoke, Zippo Manufacturing Co. is hoping to capitalize on its brand by offering a wider variety of products — from watches to leisure clothing to cologne — through kiosks and Zippo-brand specialty stores designed to showcase the durable image reinforced by each distinctive lid “click” of its brass-encased, lifetime-guaranteed lighters.

Realizing that producing 18 million lighters a year in the mid-1990s was probably the company’s high-water mark — Zippo’s 550 employees will produce about 12 million lighters this year — the company started marketing research before president and chief executive officer Gregory Booth was hired 10 years ago.

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