Friday, January 25, 2013


     I went shopping this last weekend (not an unusual occurrence) and bought some things at our local pharmacy. After I checked out and paid for my 11 items I received a receipt. It was over 36" long. Really? Each items was in a separate category. There were coupons at the bottom of the receipt, 4 to be exact. There was an opportunity to call or go on their web site to complete a survey.
     I can understand the concept of receipts. You need them in case you want to return or exchange an item purchased. But I dare say the receipt has become the end all, do all for a lot of stores. By putting coupons on their receipt they don't have to do as much advertising. The problem I find is that unless it is a coupon for money off a total purchase, the coupons are not for things I usually use. Waste. Having everything itemized in its own category is unnecessary. I don't need to know I bought lipstick from the cosmetic aisle. Waste. Opportunity to complete a survey: (I realize they think this helps them market their goods) waste. Not only of my time but of the paper it's printed on. Far too many people know far too much about each of us already. Spend a day on your computer doing web searches or shopping and already dozens of companies know all your business.
     There is a local store called New Frontiers; a nice little grocery store that has an excellent supply of organic foods. They also have a wonderful deli, bakery and coffee bar. They are going against convention. Not only do they not give out plastic bags (actually, like Trader Joe's they have always had paper bags) they are cutting down the paper receipts by printing on both sides of the paper. Buy 11 items from that store and you get a receipt about 4" long, printed on both sides. No coupons. No request to complete a survey. Just the items you purchased in a space as small as they can get it. They are not trying to win anybody over. Their customer service and excellent products speak for themselves. I have never been in there when the deli is not busy, the little eating area full and there are lines at the registers. Not long lines, by the way, as they open up every register in the store; an example of their customer service.
      So, I ask you: who's got the better idea? I only go to the pharmacy for things I can't get anywhere else. There are never any employees on the sales floor. The lines to the one register at the pharmacy take you a half hour to get through. The receipts are a waste. It makes me wonder about the integrity of the company.
      I look forward to going to New Frontiers. I can tell how they stand on the environment and consideration of my time and budget. Forging new concepts in retail with an eye to the public interest. Thanks for the 4" receipt!

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