I was walking past a Mr Price Sport today and decided to quickly pop in to buy a pair of shorts for early morning walks on the beach. Within 5 minutes I had selected a pair of shorts and was at the point of sale.
“R199” the cashier announced “and “would you like a packet?”
“Yes” was my polite reply
“Then that will be 20 cents for the plastic bag”
This made me immediately think, when did Mr Price start charging its customers for a plastic bag to take away the merchandise they have purchased. I know food stores charge for the thinner plastic bags but I can understand that, as customers use lots of bags when purchasing groceries and the supermarkets have been charging since the government introduced this levy in 2003. Woolworths charge for the plastic at the food department but never when you buy clothing merchandise.
Way back in 2003 Mr Price CEO Alastair McArthur said “Legislation currently did not force retailers to charge for bags. We have had a very negative reaction from our customers for bags, for which they never had to pay for before. We are not incurring additional expenditure for our shopping bags and do not feel our customers should have to pay”
So why the change of heart.
I realised when I noticed a sign attached to the glass in the window of the store which informed consumers Mr Price is now offering a R4, R5, or R6 reusable bag to help save the planet or if you want to you can still have a plastic bag but the customer has to pay.
Mr Price is trying to send a message it is taking the moral high ground to reduce the footprint for future generations by lowering its impact on the environment. What rubbish, if that was the real genuine motivation then why not take plastic out of the stores all together and only use reusable and pay for them out of thier profit margin. After all is it not customer service to give the customer a free packet when they have chosen to buy from you and spend some hard earned cash in your stores and not a competitor.
Truworths, Foschini, Woolworths clothing, and most other apparel retailers don’t charge. If I went into Mr Price and bought R3 000 worth of merchandise giving them a profit from the sale of close to R2 000 do they really expect me to be happy with having to pay for the packets to take away my purchase. I think not.
The last comment on this which further insults the Mr Price customer is the packets they give you is branded Mr Price which means the customer is also paying towards advertising for Mr Price as they walk around the malls carring the packets.
I wonder who is being used. They get the sale and profit, you pay for your own packets and advertise for them!
Enjoy your shopping