Monday, November 9, 2015

Modernization won't do what the people want; Part V

This is just a reminder that what the PLCB says, and what the PLCB does are not always the same thing.

"Beginning January 2, 1934 and continuing as rapidly as alterations can be completed, 240 liquor stores will be open in Pennsylvania at convenient places to serve the public." (PLCB statement issued on the opening of the first 64 stores)

That statement, made almost 82 years ago, shows the failure of the entire State Store System. Is not making stores "convenient to the public" part of every modernization plan you have ever heard? They have been promising to do that since Day One and have failed miserably, especially considering that they have had over 80 years to complete the task.

Is having 25% fewer stores more convenient? Is stringing the public along for eight decades more convenient? Is having one or two stores in entire counties more convenient? Is having the PLCB at all more convenient?

Since the Liquor Code was created in 1951, the PLCB has had total non-legislative control over store size, store location, and hours of operation (except Sunday). If they wanted larger stores, they have had 64 years to lease them. If they wanted "more convenient" stores, they have had 64 years of total control of placement to do it. If they wanted to be open anytime from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m., they could do it. They have done none of it.

So don't believe me: believe the PLCB and ask yourself if they have managed to accomplish what they said they would do over the past 82 years?


Anonymous said...

Only the premium collection stores have wine specialists working in them. In the bigger cities in PA there are plenty of premium collection stores, but go into rural territory and you are lucky to find any state store at all. Should I thus assume that the staff at the smaller stores are totally clueless about wine? (yes, I know service at all state stores usually sucks, but at least the premium collection store staff seem better than staff at the garden variety state stores)

Lew Bryson said...

It's hard to say, given the arbitrary way staff gets shoved around, but the large "premium collection" stores in Philly and Pittsburgh (and their respective suburbs), and of course the store that serves the Legislature in Harrisburg, are the best shots for a wine specialist. There are going to be exceptions at the small stores; some people go to work for the State Stores because they really do love wine. But...yeah, the small stores are generally not so great for service. And if you're looking for spirits knowledge, you're on your own.

Anonymous said...

What do you mean by "the staff gets shoved around"?

Lew Bryson said...

I mean that people come in off the streets, physically grab the clerks, and force them to move about the store. It's frightening to watch.

Kidding. I mean that staff get moved around from store to store and from shift to shift. At least, that's what State Store employees have told me.

Albert Brooks said...

In a district, the district manager can fill in personnel gaps in his stores by moving people from store to store. However, since the system is based on seniority, only the most junior person working as a part-time clerk, or Clerk 1 or 2 can be MADE to go to the other store. If they just need a fill-in cashier then a part-time person would go. if they need a person who can close a register then it might be a clerk 2.

To make it even more fun a district is usually bigger that a county so these clerks could be driving 35-40 miles ONE WAY for a part-time shift.