I tweet about CVS a bit.
Hey @CVS_Extra - I'm giving you ten cents for the bag. Put some handles on it, would ya?— AJ (@AmandaJoy) September 16, 2014
10 cents for a small paper bag at @CVS_Extra but the receipt is two feet long. WTG.— AJ (@AmandaJoy) September 9, 2014
In August of this year, California became the first state legislature to enact legislation imposing a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags at large retail stores. Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law on September 30. The ban will take effect on July 1, 2015. In addition, they instated a 10 cent minimum charge for recycled paper bags, reusable plastic bags, and compostable bags at certain locations.
I don't really have a problem with this. I get that it's good for the environment and maybe makes the state a little money. Whatever. It's a nominal fee and I'm gonna be honest - seven times out of ten, I forget to bring my reusable bags and don't really feel too badly paying 20 cents for the two bags I need for my small grocery haul.
But CVS kills me. Not only are their paper bags made of the super cheap, rough paper, they don't have handles on them. Is that a big deal? It is when I pay ten cents at Ralph's and get a perfectly nice paper bag with handles, making it easy for me to carry things to my car, up to my apartment, down the block to my office, etc.
On top of which, their receipts are the stuff of legend at this point. Google "CVS Receipt" and you get a plethora of hilarious photos.
When confronted with this distinguishing issue in an interview with The Boston Globe last year, CVS Chief Marketing Officer Rob Price explained that their loyalty program is to blame for the long receipts. As part of the loyalty program, the company includes coupons on receipts in hopes of bringing customers back.
I would like to see a case study on how many people return to CVS to get a dollar off shampoo they don't even use. (Seriously, I get these coupons and they are always for products I don't even buy.)
And I think I'm onto something -- Price went on to explain the receipts are tailored to include coupons for items the shopper might be interested in. MIGHT.
I might be interested in a rewards program that lets me opt out of receipts in lieu of a shopping bag with handles or a bag fee waiver.
I've never run a business. I don't know how this stuff works. But I think this is pretty intuitive. If you really want to reward your customers, why not give them something they actually want, not a punchline.
Where did this come from? Why did I write this? I saw this Halloween costume and decided it was the BEST. COSTUME. EVER.
Well done, Reddit guy.
And speaking of punchlines, all of this reminds me a classic bit on receipts from the late, great Mitch Hedberg. Enjoy this and laugh to yourself the next time you walk out of a store with a receipt as tall as you are.