I was in Walmart yesterday. I had to pick up a few things. At the checkout, the cashier kept doubling bagging all of my items. I asked her why.
“These bags tear so easily that almost everyone has a ripped bag at the end. They used to be better but these new bags are too thin.”
I hope for Walmart’s sake that the new bags are less than half the cost of the old bags. Otherwise their cost-cutting move is costing them more than it saves.
I get why they did it. I’ll bet their bags are a huge expense for them. I’ll bet someone pitched them the idea of a cheaper bag, or knowing Walmart, they probably went to their vendor and demanded a cheaper bag. The only way to make it cheaper was make it thinner. And now their employees are double bagging everything so that you can get your groceries home in one piece.
How’s that cheaper bag working out for you?
Bags, like so many other non-merchandise items, seem like a hassle expense. You know you need them but you hate paying for them. I know I did. But that didn’t stop me from buying better, thicker bags than I probably needed. Mostly because I also looked at bags as being a reflection of my brand. Cheap, flimsy bags send the signal that I care about my money more than I care about you. Sturdy, reusable handle bags say I care about you more than I care about money. (Remember that Values post I just wrote?)
The problem is that we too often look at our expenses as single, individual entities instead of how they fit into the whole. We make decisions on those expenses purely on a financial basis instead of thinking about how we want to present ourselves and how we want our customers to feel about us. You have to consider everything, otherwise your cuts may end up costing you more.
In the 68 years we ran Toy House, one of our most profitable years was 2009, smack dab in the middle of the great recession. I had to cut expenses that year to get that profit. Here is a post I wrote January 11, 2010 about how I cut those expenses … “Cutting Expenses the Smart Way”
Sometimes you need to cut expenses. How you cut them is often more important than how much you cut them.
PS This trip down memory lane looking at old blogs has been fun for me. Maybe it will be fun for you. Here is a link to one page with all 897 blog posts to date.