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Management Buzz 05/04

Welcoming overweight customers, employing international students and more

This story appears in the May 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Weighty Matters

If your employees subtly shun overweight customers, they're not only behaving reprehensibly--they might also be costing you a loyal group.

Myrna Marofsky, president of ProGroup Inc., a diversity consulting firm in Minneapolis, has observed retail salespeople treat overweight customers coldly, even when they were shopping for items unrelated to their size, such as cosmetics. Cultural assumptions about overweight people-that they're lazy and don't make much money-can translate into the idea that they don't have money to spend. Salespeople often "don't see them as desired customers," says Marofsky.

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