Russian post offices selling beer to raise funds

Post offices in Russia have started to sell beer in an effort to not only raise funds, but also to increase access to legal alcohol in the wake of poisoning from counterfeit products.

Image: vk.com/murmanskgroup

Russian post offices have started selling beer to raise funds, as reported by the BBC.

One of the first beer sightings was at a post office in the Murmansk Region, in the far north of the country. Writing on social media, the shopper complained: “It looked like Russian Post couldn’t sink any lower, but it turns out they could.”

The bottles sold in the post offices are priced up to 135 roubles (£1.60, $2). However, money is not the only motive.

Daniil Skidan, Russian Post’s press secretary, defended the policy, saying that they plan to roll out beer sales at 3,200 post offices across the country, and made clear that this strategy was not only about making money.

He told Govorit Moskva radio that: “The main focus is on rural branches, which will give the public access to high-quality, legal alcoholic beverages. This is important because over 1,200 people are poisoned by low-quality alcohol every year.”

The Murmansk post department said that 40 of its 152 branches already stock low alcoholic drinks, but don’t sell wine or spirits.

It’s not just northern areas of Russia that are trialling selling beer in post office. In the South, the Saratov Region has began experimenting with selling beer and the fermented bread drink kvass, in order to keep post offices open. However, as this is a rural focused scheme, branches in Moscow will not be selling alcohol.

In the UK, pubs and post offices have banded together to cut costs with The Plough Inn in Marsh Gibbon, Buckinghamshire, opening a post office behind the bar.

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