State Smiling Lessons


Most retail outfits catch on to the "be courteous to your customers" thing pretty early on. But most retail outlets don't have a government-enforced monopoly on what they sell. So in Pennsylvania, where all liquor and wine must be sold in state-run stores…

The state's Liquor Control Board is spending more than $173,000 to try to make workers friendlier and more well-mannered at the nearly 650 stores it operates. The board says it wants to make sure clerks are saying "hello," "thank you" and "come again" to customers shopping for wine and spirits.

It has hired Pittsburgh-based consulting firm Solutions 21 to help coach store managers so they can instruct their clerks on issues such as how to greet customers and where to stand. Training begins this month.