Reusable Shopping Bag Customer Incentives: CVS and Target now on Board

by: Nichole Gunn December 23, 2010

More and more consumers and businesses are seeing the long-term global benefits of going green. To be part of the solution and help our overly burdened garbage filled planet, a number of environmentally conscious retailers are joining in the conservation and pollution battle by offering green customer incentive programs.

Companies such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s have long been offering cash savings and rebates to customers who are pro-active and use reusable bags. The plastic bags, as most of us already know, are environmentally unfriendly. Newly joining the eco-friendly retailer ranks are CVS and Target.

Following the lead of other retailers, Target, the fifth largest retailer in the country, launched a customer incentive program that will “give customers a five cent discount on every reusable bag they use to pack groceries.”

CVS came up with their own unique spin on motivating consumers to limit their plastic bag usage by offering “a one dollar cash bonus on customers' CVS card for every four purchases in which they do not request a plastic bag.”

According to USA Today, marketing professor at Texas A&M University David Szymanski explained, "It's become part of the competitive landscape to demonstrate that it's part of your culture. Retailers who want to connect with this generation have to go green."

Analysts expect that heavy hitters such as CVS and Target’s initiation of green incentive programs will bring environmental concerns to the forefront. They also hope it will encourage other retailers to follow suit.

Having CVS and Target join the ranks is a big step forward for the green fight. Unfortunately, Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, hasn’t taken notice yet of the need for eco-conscious retailer leaders. They have no plans in regard to initiating a similar customer incentive program to replace plastic bags with reusable ones.