If you've purchased something lately from CVS using your ExtraCare card, it's a good chance you've left the store with a receipt almost as long as you are tall.
These days, many retail stores and restaurants are switching to a digital receipt system. But so far, CVS is moving in the opposite direction. Granted, the receipts are long because they come attached to coupons to help you save money, but how many people actually use them?
"People who are predisposed to collect paper receipts and keep that sort of thing are probably the same people who go to the paper and clip coupons," said John Talbott, assistant director at Indiana University's Center for Education and Research in Retailing, on Take Two. "With the target audience, I think this probably does work. For myself, I don't think I've ever looked at a single offer at the bottom of those receipts."
It's clear that not everyone appreciates the coupons. Their comical length has become an Internet meme with many people tweeting about their CVS receipt experiences:
So excited to finally be down to my goal waist of 1/2 a CVS receipt!! pic.twitter.com/7jeS7IxQf8— Jessica Joy (@J2thaJOY) August 17, 2013
In the time it takes for my receipt to print at CVS I'm able to regret every life decision I've ever made. Twice.— maureen (@lessbutmaur) August 3, 2013
Sent CVS receipt in as first draft of novel and editor says it’s too long.— Asim Jalis (@metafroth) August 19, 2013
My @CVS_Receipt is so long it's being affected by the curvature of the earth.— Russell SR (@llkoolwhip) August 6, 2013
Many cities, including Los Angeles, also outlaw the recycling of thermal receipts due to chemicals embedded within the paper. With most receipts using a thermal paper system as opposed to ink, it begs the question of whether digital receipts are the way to go.
"About 40 percent of stores right now offer digital receipt mechanisms, and what I'm guessing is that stores that are offering those are going to grow larger," said Talbott. "But I don't see paper receipts going away any time soon."
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