Cash Registers Crater At Russian Retailers

A failure of some internet-connected cash registers in Russia has resulted in billions of rubles in lost sales during the holiday season, according to a report in Bloomberg.

Since July, the Russian government has required retailers to use the internet-connected cash registers to transmit sales data to the government, as a means of improving their tax collection efforts and clamping down on tax avoidance by merchants.

The crash of the registers impacted about 9 percent of the retail market in Russia, costing retailers as much as $170 million, or 10 billion rubles. Bloomberg cited the Russian online retail trade group AKIT as the source of the data.

Shtrikh-M, the company that developed the registers, stated to Bloomberg that some of the machines didn’t work properly and that technicians were working to fix the issue in a speedy manner.

Magnit PJSC, the second-largest retailer in Russia, reported issues at some stores, which prevented them from ringing up sales for a period of time on Wednesday (Dec. 20). Meanwhile, Rosneft and Gazprom Neft PJSC told Bloomberg they had to stop sales at some of their fuel stations for a period of time when the cash registers failed to work.

Bloomberg noted the glitch may have been caused by something to do with the cash register software. There isn’t any evidence that the problem was due to a computer virus, officials at two Russian cybersecurity companies told Bloomberg.

“A retail nightmare came true today when cash registers refused to work and sales stopped,” Dmitry Alexeev, head of electronics retailer DNS Digital Store, posted on Facebook Wednesday. “Retailers across the country are cursing. What could be worse than losing the chance of trade in the days leading up to New Year?”


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