It looks like the US Postal Service isn’t the only mail organization looking for new ways to raise funds. In an effort to generate more revenue, some rural Russian Post Offices have begun selling beer to their customers…along with their standard mailing and shipping services, of course.
Are Russian Post Offices Really Selling Beer?
Indeed they are. Or, at least they were. As soon as the Russian Post came out and said that Russian Post Offices would begin selling beer, the public outcry was overwhelmingly negative. Some people thought the whole thing was a joke. Others lamented about the consequences this would have on the already-long lines, and they didn’t seem too keen on witnessing their local post office turn into a convenience store.
“What about condoms, cigarettes, and a couple of tables in the corner as well?” one user suggested on the Russian social media platform VKontakte.
The public reaction was so harsh that Post Offices in the Murmansk region indefinitely suspended alcohol sales just days after the announcement (Murmansk is in the northern part of the country, in case you were wondering). Talk about a short-lived experiment.
The Focus is on Providing “High-Quality Alcohol to Rural Areas”
While selling beer in Russian Post Offices is undoubtedly a money-grab for the ailing organization, spokespeople for the Russian Post maintains that it’s not. Russian Post’s press secretary Daniil Skidan weighed in on the issue.
“The main focus is on rural branches, which will give the public access to high-quality, legal alcoholic beverages,” he said. “This is important because over 1,200 people are poisoned by low-quality alcohol every year.”
Yikes! Apparently, death due to poor alcohol quality is a real problem in rural parts of Russia such as Murmansk. Russian Post to the rescue!
Could USPS Sell Beer in Post Offices?
We know your mind went there already (because ours did), but we’re thinking that the answer is probably not. If USPS were to even consider going this route, every single Post Office location would first need to obtain a liquor license…and that would be a massive undertaking. Not to mention that postal employees would have to start carding customers like bouncers in front of your local watering hole. However, cracking open a cold one could certainly make waiting in those notorious lines a little bit more bearable.