Postal revenue enhancement Russian style: selling booze on credit

As the US Postal Service tries to find sources of revenue to make up for the decline in first class mail, the Russian Post Office is apparently raking in big bucks rubles by letting pensioners buy booze on credit. Perhaps not surprisingly, some local authorities aren’t sure it’s such a great idea:

Buryatia’s legislature has voted to ban Russian Post from running a profitable sideline in the southern region — selling beer to make up for revenue shortages from its main postal business, a news report said Friday.

Post offices in Buryatia have been letting their customers run up a a tab for beer, to be paid out of pensions and social benefit payments that residents receive at the same post offices, regional lawmaker Sergei Mezenin told deputies ahead of the vote, local news portal Baikal Daily news reported.

The practice has contributed to getting Russians drunk and “negatively affects the image of the postal service,” Mezenin was quoted as saying.

Russian Post acquired a license for alcohol sales in 2013, and many of its offices around the country began offering beer and other drinks and household goods to keep their business afloat, Russian media has reported.

Read more: Buryutia Lawmakers Vote to Ban Sale of Beer in Russian Post Offices | News | The Moscow Times.