Long receipts are absurd… or are they?

The Question:

These days, I rarely get receipts shorter than a 30cm ruler for purchasing a bag of chips at just about any store. It’s totally absurd so I wanted to find out why do stores did this.

Before researching this shower thought, I wanted to list out a few of my own reasons for why receipts are, what seems like, longer than my research papers I write for school.

1. For people to collect and turn into a mummy costume for Halloween. (Or in the holiday spirit, turn into scarves and keep warm.)
2. To be used to make origami stars.
3. Turn into DIY birthday party streamers.

My list could probably go on (it actually did but I’ll spare you from my ridiculous answers), but you can tell that I was completely stumped with coming up with anything reasonable. It’s just that typically I don’t see people casually reading their receipts any time after their purchase, or any time at all for that matter. And so I googled “why are receipts so long?”

My top 3 were Search Results:

– Why Store Receipts from CVS, Kmart, Target Are So Long | Money

– CVS receipts are so long they’ve become a meme … – Business Insider

– Why CVS Receipts Are So Long – Business Insider

For anyone who may not know what CVS is, it’s essentially an American drugstore, similar to Shopper’s Drug Mart, Rexall, or London Drugs. After reading these first few articles, I found out that CVS is (now, was) notorious for printing long receipts. If you thought any of our Canadian receipts were incredibly long, well you’re in for a treat. The lengths of CVS receipts is almost forgivable because they’re so long, it’s funny. This, of course, blew up across the Internet. Another google search of images of CVS receipts showed that my guesses weren’t too far off from what other customers were doing with their really really long receipts.

Boiling down the Why:

Some sources say that the long receipts from CVS were intentional. Having their receipts blowup on social media could have been a clever tactic to make customers out of curious people. Was it a marketing strategy? It makes sense because Starbucks is known for something similar. Their notorious reputation for misspelling names is purposely meant to get customers to share pictures of their drinks on social media.

Or…the strategy involves sending customers away with question marks bobbing above their heads and hoping that the customers will share their experience.

Fun fact! Starbucks recently spelled my name as “Lusie”. (I’d put a picture but I drank my mint mocha before I remembered a picture would be cool)

So long, long receipt!

As of May 2016, CVS implemented a digital receipt system where “Customers [could] have the opportunity to opt-out of receiving paper receipts for all in-store purchases when completing their transactions in the front of the store. Once the one-time process is completed, customers will receive receipts digitally, along with their coupons and rewards, each time they shop at CVS Pharmacy.” [x]

Just like VCRs, will we witness the elimination of receipts in the near future? While they still exists, lets celebrate the memories that receipts have brought to humanity up until this point.

I hope you enjoyed my scoop on long receipts and learned something new! Now, ttfn while I go make my next Halloween costume.

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