forward thinking geographic regions when it comes to the environment.
Three years ago, San Francisco led an outright ban on
plastic shopping bags, 3.8 billion of which are used in the Bay Area each
year. Other Bay Area cities
followed suit. Take a read of what the Bay Area is doing in terms of bags in this New York Times article.
And now companies everywhere have become more responsible. Whole Foods banned plastic bags altogether, Peet’s Coffee is giving back $.25
every time you bring your old coffee bag in, and Trader Joe’s offers a raffle
for $25 of groceries each week for anyone bringing a reusable bag with them.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
When the people mandate change, listen, then do something
Green is as green does. It’s expected today. How are you
greening your store? It may be as simple as helping to shift consumer behavior
through the power of suggestion.
Don’t Just Give, Ask. So many stores now ask “Would you
like a bag for that” for the simple reason that people are more
environmentally conscious. And
offering a bag versus automatically giving every customer one is not only good
for the environment, it’s good for the bottom line. Bags cost money, and every
bag saved is money saved. So ask if they want a bag instead of just giving one
to the customer.
Reward Reuse. If a customer brings in their own bag, or
brings in one of your old bags, then reward them for that behavior. It could be
as simple as dollars or a percentage off their purchase. It doesn’t have to be
anything, it could be a token amount as Peet’s coffee offers above. But think
about it, if every Peet’s customer reuses their bag five times, that’s an 80%
savings in bag costs for Peet’s. That’s a huge savings.
How are you rewarding customers for being more
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Photo courtesy flickr user copabananas