Monday, April 20, 2009

Does Sears know it's Earth Week?

Green, frugal, or both, I decided to use a mall gift card on Sunday. The card was a student gift that was still burning a hole in my purse. The mall's parent company had been in the headlines because they just declared bankruptcy, so I decided I'd better use the card ASAP, PDQ, before it lost its value.

I started at Sears. They had pruning clippers on sale. Craftsman (warranty), on sale (frugal), sharpen-able (is that a word?): I bought one. While the clerk was running my gift card through the register, I pulled out my chico bag and said, "I don't need a bag. I have my own." The clerk replied, "Oh, you can't use that here."

WHAT??!!? I can't use my own shopping bag? You're forcing me to take your worthless piece of plastic? He insisted, saying it was because I'd be stopped by security if I carried merchandise in any bag but one clearly labeled Sears. I fumed and grumbled my way through the rest of the store, avoiding the clearance racks and other deals for fear of collecting any more wasteful packaging.

At my next stop, Target was actually giving away reusable cloth shopping bags to the first several hundred customers. I sighed with relief and headed to Bath & Body Works for foam soap. They let me use the Target bag and commented on how much they liked it. My last stop, Williams-Sonoma, didn't have the cloth napkins at a price I liked, but they had some sale merchandise from Easter (okay, chocolate) that cost just enough to use up the gift card. They, too, were happy to allow me to use my own shopping bag.

Sears? I've heard rumors that they're not weathering the economic downturn very well. The small plastic bag they forced on me didn't cost the store much, but if they lose many eco-conscious shoppers like me, that'll hurt.

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Anonymous Christina said...

Sometimes the big guys just don't get it. They think they are invincible. NOT! Look what happened to JCP. They stumbled through, barely. There presence is no long what it once was. Sears needs to get with the times. Our earth is more important than their pocketbook! Have a great day!

4/20/2009 11:13 AM  
Anonymous Pamela said...

That's insane. A receipt should suffice to prove your purchase was, well, purchased, and not stolen. In fact, a receipt is the only way. Anybody can smuggle in a folded plastic Sears bag and stuff it full of merchandise. The bag proves nothing. I hope this was a case of a misinformed employee, and not corporate policy.

4/20/2009 12:32 PM  
Blogger MommaYoung said...

That is CRAZY. Sears on more than one occasion has disappointed me..

Good for you on bring your bags.

4/20/2009 1:40 PM  
Blogger Carissa(GoodnCrazy) said...

I am stumbling this post. Grrr, is what I have to say to that... Grrr.

4/20/2009 2:31 PM  
Blogger kawaii crafter said...

I wonder if the cashier was just confused? Maybe that rule only applies to the employees.

That's great that you're bringing your own bags and this incident didn't discourage you.


4/20/2009 4:24 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

If your sewing machine does zigzag stitch then making your own napkins is easy-peasy. And you can make any color you want for the same price as white. You'll want something with a high cotton content and a not too fine a weave so it is easier to pull a thread as a cutting guide. I recommend 14-18 inch squares.

4/20/2009 7:41 PM  
Anonymous Caffeinatrix said...

Re Sears: Have they never heard of taping your receipt to the item? Duh!

4/21/2009 10:30 AM  
Anonymous little_redshoes said...

Yet, Sears (at least mine) sells reusable bags with the Sears logo. I suppose they just want you to buy one of those if you want to use a reusable. They were ugly, tho. Black/grey with neon green. The Target ones are great! I love the ones that fold up. I also saw someone carrying a BEAUTIFUL green one from Target with a sort of South Asian-looking design on it.
I'm sorry you had such a hassle!

4/21/2009 12:03 PM  
Blogger Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

You are kidding me! Meanwhile, IKEA doesn't give anyone a bag--ever. go figure.

4/21/2009 12:40 PM  
Blogger The Mommy said...

Growl. Oh this is definitely worth re-tweeting, girl! Great post! I can't believe that Sears isn't getting with the program...those poor guys don't know how much that will hurt them. We'll have to spread this around Titter some...and further! @yourimpact

4/22/2009 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Chris Brathwaite said...

Sorry to read about your experience at one of our stores. Wanted to let you know that we do offer reusable bags at all of our Sears stores and we will be sending out a communication to remind all of our stores that customers can use their own bags. Chris Brathwaite, VP, Corp. Communications - Sears Holdings.

4/22/2009 12:20 PM  
Blogger Lisa Sharp said...

Neither my towns Sears or the one at the Mall about an hour away have said anything about me using bags. I'm sure I would never go back to that one and he would have gotten a lesson on plastic and I would have been asking for a manager lol. I get mad easily with this stuff. Crazy!!

4/26/2009 4:42 PM  
Blogger Lisa Sharp said...

And to Chris Brathwaite I'm glad to hear this!

4/26/2009 4:43 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

It takes a LOT to make ME speechless! But _______

5/09/2009 10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was told the same thing in a Sears store last night when I tried to use my reusable bag. I guess if you are a shoplifter, as long as you put it in a Sears bag, you won't get stopped at the door. Honestly, how is a Sears bag going to help with loss prevention??? No wonder they are almost bankrupt!

11/15/2009 11:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa Clarke said...

I had the same experience at Sears in October. I told the cashier I didn't need a bag, and she replied "we're not allowed *not* to give you a bag."

So, I had to take their big plastic bag for a sweater I was going to put on as soon as I got to the parking lot (which was less than 20 feet from the cash register!)

What a waste. I haven't been back to Sears since (not that I'd been much of a Sears customer lately anyway...)

2/25/2010 2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Guy was confused. You can use reusable bags. Next time ask for a manager. I am trying to get the reusable bags back in sears at my store. Sorry bout your bad experiences. Ya just gotta find the right people. There are nasty people ecru where.

4/12/2012 10:54 AM  

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