Offbeat: The long, long history of long, long CVS receipts - PressFrom - US
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Offbeat The long, long history of long, long CVS receipts

14:50  11 october  2018
14:50  11 october  2018 Source:   vox.com

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But are CVS receipts really longer than other receipts ? I mean, yes. But as a journalist, I cannot accept common wisdom as the truth. Know Your Meme begins its history of the long receipt phenomenon with a 2008 Facebook group, One Million Strong Against Unnecessarily Long CVS

How long are the receipts ? For at least a decade, concerned shoppers have dedicated themselves to this question, producing a robust body of phone-picture Not all CVS receipts are created equal. If you, a non-loyal shopper, mosey into CVS and buy some Tylenol and a package of seasonal candy

a close up of text on a white background: A CVS receipt, living up to the hype.© Rachel Sugar/Vox A CVS receipt, living up to the hype.

CVS is a drugstore much like other drugstores, with one important difference: The receipts are very long.

How long are the receipts? For at least a decade, concerned shoppers have dedicated themselves to this question, producing a robust body of phone-picture literature on the subject. You could not major in CVS receipt studies, probably, but you could minor.

Not all CVS receipts are created equal. If you, a non-loyal shopper, mosey into CVS and buy some Tylenol and a package of seasonal candy, you will get a receipt that is unspectacular (read: a normal length). To get one of the iconically long CVS receipts, you need to use your ExtraCare card, which means you need to be an ExtraCare member. (You can join as long as you are willing to turn over your name and phone number in exchange for better deals.)

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The drugstore chain CVS is famous for its long paper receipts . They have become an internet meme, as people proudly pose for pictures with receipts that are longer than they are tall. How did that happen? A lot of it has to do with customer tracking. When you sign up for a rewards program at any

Like AWorkstation on Facebook. Some personal news: CVS gave me a 5’8” receipt today pic.twitter.com/75dPvFQvDK. — Emma Keane (@eckeane) October 3, 2018. The drugstore chain CVS is famous for its long paper receipts .

People on the internet have documented this phenomenon with a vigor usually reserved for cats climbing in and out of boxes. On Twitter and on Instagram, shoppers stand next to their CVS receipts, which are often as tall as they are, and sometimes taller.

Here is a CVS receipt as long as a sofa:

Here is a CVS receipt as long as a person:

The receipts have spawned memes:

And Halloween costumes:

a person that is standing in the kitchen© Hangintough/Imgur

For years, Jimmy Kimmel has been very upset:

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This week, CVS defended their super- long receipts again, telling DailyFinance.com that the redemption of ExtraCare rewards is at an all-time high. rewards programs and the longest running in the drugstore space with a 15-year history of providing meaningful rewards to its loyal member base.

How long are the receipts ? For at least a decade, concerned shoppers have dedicated themselves to this question, producing a robust body of phone-picture literature on the subject. CVS is a drugstore much like other drugstores, with one important difference: The receipts are very long .

It does not matter how much you buy; the endless CVS receipt is deeply egalitarian. You can buy a single pack of gum, for all CVS cares. This cold-ridden man bought ibuprofen, NyQuil, and cough drops — three items! — and still got nearly 6 feet of receipt, filled with coupons for whatever CVS sells, which is everything.

But are CVS receipts really longer than other receipts? I mean, yes. But as a journalist, I cannot accept common wisdom as the truth. Also, I have a cold. Given this alignment of the stars, it seemed the only thing to do was investigate by buying a lot of cough drops from a variety of chain drugstores, plus a grocery store, and compare receipts: Rite Aid, Duane Read, and Stop & Shop, in addition to CVS.

In the interest of science, I tried each location twice, once with a loyalty card (not to brag), and once without.

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What's the difference between long long and long? And they both don't work with 12 digit numbers (600851475143), am I forgetting something?

They're so long that it's a meme. There's a solution: digital receipts . They're far more environmentally friendly than paper receipts , and you don't need to worry about stuffing a huge piece of paper in your wallet for when you want that coupon for your favorite shampoo a couple of weeks from now.

At Stop & Shop, a summary of my “Fuel Savings” ($0.14) took up some extra space, as did a large-print celebration of my 2018 Card Savings (also $0.14). Rite Aid uses a similar philosophy: when I used my BonusCash Rewards card, my receipt had a few additional inches of information, such as an update on my Available BonusCash Rewards*. I have zero. At Duane Read, the receipts are likewise more or less the same.

a close up of text on a white background© Rachel Sugar/Vox
The difference between a Rite Aid BonusCash receipt and a receipt with no bonuses: about 4.5 inches.
a close up of text on a white background© Rachel Sugar/Vox
The difference between Stop & Shop receipts is about 3.75 inches.
a close up of text on a white background© Rachel Sugar/Vox

Duane Reade receipts have a difference of just under 2.75 inches.

CVS takes... a different approach. My regular receipt was normal-receipt length: 10.5 inches. Is that a lot of inches to verify I bought cough drops? I mean, it is, but I wouldn’t make a Halloween costume about it.

My ExtraCare receipt, however, was 4 feet and 1.5 inches long, or roughly the height of the average American 8-year-old. I have never used a coupon from a CVS receipt, but while they print, I am filled with a sense of possibility. Maybe this is the month I save $2 on Garnier Fructis hair products, and also start using Garnier Fructis hair products. It is a thrill that I imagine others get from playing slots.

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CVS is famous for their ridiculously long receipts . If it bothers you to get the equivalent of a tree branch every time you buy gum, here’s how you can stop the madness. Vox reporter Rachel Sugar did a deep dive into the length and history of these receipts , even measuring them against other offenders.

Click here if the story doesn’t open after a few seconds.

This receipt included coupons for: Colgate toothpaste; vitamins (all); shampoo, conditioner, or hairstyling products more than $12; assorted menstrual products; medicine for children; medicine for adults; heartburn medicine; and 40 percent off Neutrogena makeup. All this, for buying cough drops.

a stack of brochures on a wooden surface© Rachel Sugar/Vox

The difference in CVS receipts is 39 inches, or 3.25 feet. In trying to flatten the smaller receipt with an iron, for maximum accuracy, there was an incident. Did you know that receipt paper is heat-sensitive? I also did, but I forgot.

I reached out to CVS to ask about the history of the receipts — when did they get so long?

“We are always listening to customer feedback,” a spokesperson responded, noting that the company has “taken a number of steps over the past several years to redesign elements of our receipts and the ExtraBucks Rewards that print on them to make sure we’re making them shorter where we can but also making it super easy for customers to understand how many rewards they’ve earned or what savings they can take advantage of.”

I do like knowing how many rewards I’ve earned; it helps mark the passage of time.

KnowYourMeme begins its history of the long receipt phenomenon with a 2008 Facebook group, One Million Strong Against Necessarily Long CVS Receipts, which currently has 7 members. A year later, the Wall Street Journal looked into the general phenomenon of long receipts, tracing it back to the early aughts, when stores began using “sophisticated software” to track consumer habits. They began using that data to customize receipts with things like targeted coupons, and receipts got longer.

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CVS is notorious for its absurdly long receipts , which can saddle customers with multiple feet of coupons after even just a one-item purchase. To do so, you’ll have to download the CVS app on your phone and enable digital receipts , which will send all those coupons and transaction records to your

" Long , Long , Long " is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1968 album The Beatles (also known as "the White Album").

Receipts aren’t just proof of purchase anymore; they’re a forum for stores to tell you things. That still seems true. My receipts offered me information about other, even more rewarding rewards programs I could join. The told me about satisfaction surveys I could take where I might win $1,000, or $3,000, depending on the drugstore. They updated me on my rewards points. They explained how rewards points work. It was like a satisfying chat with a very rewards-points oriented friend.

In 2013, in response to mounting criticism, CVS announced they’d be trimming the typical length of receipts by 25 percent, the Boston Globe reported. “A couple years back, redemption rates reached all-time highs,” the CVS spokesperson told me. “But we heard loud and clear that while our customers loved receiving coupons and special offers via receipt, many wanted a paperless option.”

In 2016, the company introduced “digital receipts” for ExtraCare members, who “simply needed to ask the cashier at check-out” to enroll. As of this year, you can just adjust your settings on the app. (Even if you opt-in to email receipts, you can always get a nostalgic paper printout in the store.)

a close up of a piece of paper© Rachel Sugar/Vox

Rite Aid comes in a very distant second to CVS.

Not everyone is satisfied with this. Jimmy Kimmel, longtime anti-CVS receipt crusader, returned to his cause in January. His complaint: The default CVS receipts are still very, very long. In August, ethical consumerism non-profit Green America launched a “Skip the Slip, CVS” campaign, urging the company to change its receipt practices.

Since introducing the digital option, CVS says they have saved “more than three billion inches of paper,” which translates into the marginally more comprehensible statistic of 47,348 miles. Still, the spokesperson said, “many shoppers do continue to prefer the paper option.”

If you have thoughts on your own recent receipt experiences, CVS would “love to hear your feedback,” which I know, because it says so, right there on the receipt.

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