Mark heard recently that JC Penny carries organic clothes and we stopped by our local store this weekend. A few feet within the front door, I saw that JC Penny sells a colorful cloth bag for $1.99 at check-out.
Or, at least, the theory is that they sell these bags.
I watched as a line of people moved through one register. The cloth bags were on the other side of the counter and not once did the JC Penny associate ask if a customer would like a cloth bag for $1.99, and not once did a customer ask for one.
Stay with me for a moment: I’ve noticed that TJX stores have a ridiculous new policy. If a store associate doesn’t ask you if you’d like to sign up for a TJX credit card, you receive a HUGE bottle of soda for free. Um, I don’t want the card or the soda. But this got me thinking . . .
Stores that carry their own cloth bagsâ€”like JC Penny and Hannaford Supermarketsâ€”should start a policy where they ask customers if they’d like to buy a cloth bag with their purchase. Or, better yet, start giving away the cloth bags (using them in place of plastic) and instituting a policy where a customer gets a small percentage off all future purchases when he or she reuses the bag.
I mean, really, the JC Penny cloth bag costs $1.99 (which has to be just pennies wholesale). And, to JC Penny, each bag is a walking billboard asâ€”presumablyâ€”the shopper will carry the bag around town.
In this scenario, the shopper wins, JC Penny wins, and Mother Nature wins. My work here is done.
Question of the blog: Have you noticed any big chain retailers successfully promoting their cloth bags?