Several weeks ago my brother posted on Facebook that he had a “run in” with a cashier at JCPenney. Apparently he bought two packages of undershirts, in plastic packaging, and the cashier demanded that he put them in an additional plastic bag from the store. As he was literally walking out of the store he said, “No, I’m good,” the woman continued demanding that a bag was needed and that he, “might drop the shirts due to the slippery packaging.” Uh, ok. Even if he did drop them, so what? They’re in plastic packaging. Needless to say, my brother succeeded when he just kept right on walking out of the store with no bag.
Fast forward to tonight. My husband and I were purchasing undershirts at JCPenney. (Not planned, just ironic). Upon check out, as I usually do, I stated that we did not need a bag and would just carry them out. We were literally feet from the door. The cashier refused and stated that a bag was required due to company policy. I then asked if I could just put them into my purse. Nope, that was a no go. Then lastly, I asked if I could put them in a reusable bag that I had with me. Finally she said ok. I could’ve let it slide, but it’s not in my nature to do so, not to mention this is something I’m quite passionate about.
At that point I stated that the exact same thing happened to my brother in a different state and I wanted to know why a bag was required. She once again stated, “company policy.” I stated that although I understand it was company policy I still would like to know why this policy is in place. According to her, it’s due to shoplifting (as she said, “Of course I’m not saying you’d shoplift.”). Per her, if someone is walking out with a product without a bag it looks like they’re shoplifting, which would cause them to be stopped by a JCPenney worker. Uhhh, my response, “If they stop you, which they probably wouldn’t, just show the receipt. And actually having a bag makes for easier shoplifting.” She didn’t have a response.
I understand that she is not the one who made the policy, and I stated that exactly to her. However, I also asked her to pass on our displeasure to management.
So, JCPenney, this is my open letter to you. In your Matters of Principle: JCPenney & Environmental Responsibility document you claim to be an environmentally friendly company. I applaud your efforts listed, however from personal experience you have a ways to go. If requiring the use of your plastic bags for items purchased is truly your policy, I ask that it be changed. The world is changing and it’s time to get with the times. Not only is it better for the Earth, but it also saves you money when I use my own reusable bag. Some may argue that if I take your bag and reuse it then it’s “free advertising”. I think it’s safe to say that when I put used kitty litter with feces in the bag I don’t consider that great advertising, and don’t think you would either. And while I’m writing, there’s one last thing…your receipts. They are ridiculously long, too much information that the consumer never reads, leading to a total waste of paper. A few small changes could make a huge difference in many ways.
Be grateful and keep smiling: )