Should We Lose the Bags?

Josie Leavitt -- March 28th, 2014

It is time to reorder bags. I find myself wondering if we should restock the ubiquitous shopping bag or not. Our bags are recycled kraft paper with soy based ink, so they’re about as eco-friendly as a bag can be, but the minimums per style are often huge. Yes, they are great advertisements for the store, but if no one uses one,I find myself wondering about the viability of keeping them.

It’s funny because I almost always want a bag when I’m shopping. My car tends towards messy and I usually park and walk, so I need to carry my purchases. But, the first place I shop tends to be the bag I use for my whole outing. I can hear folks yelling, “Bring your own bag.” I try to. I have bags literally looped on the front door knob, and even in the car, but I seem to never get myself together enough to actually have them with me when I need them.

Most of my customers are not like me. They come in, often with their Flying Pig tote bags (we give them away as premiums when folks spend $75 or more at one time, which happens a lot) or other reusable bags which they happily fill with books. More than likely, customers say no to a paper bag. I’m sure I’ve brought this up before, but some folks spend more time deciding if they want a bag than they do picking out their books. So, I find myself on the bubble about bags. If 90% of my customers don’t want bags, why do I keep paying for them?

I’m curious about how other stores, and customers, feel about bags. Are they obsolete or still a necessary part of doing business? Should we reorder, or not?