For the many people here concerned about the closing down of their local post offices around the country, there is hope – and it comes from Russia.
There, following a rash of poisoning cases as a result of purchasing counterfeit alcohol Russian post offices have taken to selling beer in an attempt to broaden consumer access to legal alcohol – and to make a few bob for themselves along the way….
A report on the BBC website recently explained that 40 post offices in Northern Russia’s Murmansk region have already taken to selling “low alcohol drinks”.
The Murmansk postal department reckons that this addition to the range of ‘services’ will have the effect of “increasing the viability of post offices and attracting additional money to modernise the network,” according to the Interfax news agency there.
This post office beer sales exercise has also taken place in the south of the country and the postal department has plans to roll out post office beer bars at its 3,200 branches around the country.
“The main focus is on rural branches which will give the public access to high-quality legal alcoholic beverages,” said Daniil Skidan, Russian Post’s Press Secretary, “This is important because over 1,200 people are poisoned by low-quality alcohol every year.”
However in a move that would gladden the cockles of Danny Healy Rae’s heart, the post office beer scheme is limited to rural areas.
Moscow will not be taking part in the post office piss-ups. Presumably there’s more footfall in the larger cities and therefore more revenues coming into these post offices.