Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Incredible Growing Receipt

The WSJ reports on how store receipts are getting preposterously long.

Many shoppers have noticed with chagrin store receipts getting longer and longer as retailers tack coupons, return policies, loyalty points and other bits of information and advertising onto narrow pieces of paper that are supposed to be a record of what you bought and how much you paid.

The purchase of a pack of gum from a Duane Reade Inc. store in New York generated a foot-long receipt. Single-item buys made recently at RadioShack Corp. stores around the country each yielded 19 inches of paper. The purchase of a Hula Hoop at a Chicago Kmart produced a receipt two-and-a-half feet long.

Seems excessive, sure. But stores are benefiting from using the extra paper, or else they wouldn't do it.
NCR said redemption rates for coupons printed on receipts can run as high as 3%, about triple the rate of coupons mailed to customers or included in advertising circulars. Retailers "find it's one of the most effective places to communicate with their customers," Mr. Bogan said.