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CVS Receipts refers to point-of sale records printed by CVS Pharmacy, the largest pharmacy chain in the United States, which have gained online notoriety for their lengthy form since the introduction of ExtraCare rewards program in 2011.
On July 15th, 2008, a Facebook group titled “One Million Strong Against Unnecessarily Long CVS Receipts” was launched, which mocked the drugstore chain in the page’s description:
“My last CVS receipt for $3.34 was 25.5 inches long. And that’s too fucking long. I don’t care that they use my CVS card to track me across the planet, I just want a receipt that isn’t 1/3rd my height.”
On September 1st, 2009, The Wall Street Journal published an article about the ever-increasing length of receipts at large chain retailers like the CVS pharmacy, which included an interactive infographic outlining the content of the printed sales acknowledgment (shown below).
On November 1st, 2009, Flickr user Scott Greenway uploaded a photo of woman holding a 33-inch long CVS receipt given for a single gallon of milk (shown below).
On June 22nd, 2010, The Los Angeles Times reported that CVS might switch over to a digitized rewards system to get rid of the long receipts. On July 22nd, 2011, the Los Angeles Times published a follow-up article reporting thatCVS would not be removing the printed rewards on receipts, quoting CVS marketing spokesperson Helena Foulkes who defended the printed rewards:
“When you give rewards, you want people to feel excited. You want them to know that they’ve earned the reward.”
On May 7th, 2013, Twitter user @TheMichaelRock joked that a CVS receipt for a pack of gum could supply two months worth of toilet paper. In the next four months, the tweet garnered more than 35 retweets and 120 favorites.
goes to CVS buys gum collects receipt BOOM! 2 month supply of toilet paper!— Rock (@TheMichaelRock) May 7, 2013
On July 8th, 2013, Twitter user Brandon Gutermuth tweeted a joke about a CVS cashier who had to chop down an entire tree to print out a receipt, receiving over 30 retweets and 140 favorites in the first two months.
CVS cashier: "Would you like your receipt?" Me: "Yes, please." CVS cashier: starts chopping down a tree— Brandon Gutermuth (@UNTRESOR) July 8, 2013
On August 21st, several news sites reported on the growing Twitter trend surrounding CVS receipts, including Fast Company and The Huffington Post, both of which featured several photographs of large CVS receipts posted on Twitter (shown below). On the same day, the @CVSReceiptnovelty Twitter account was launched.
The Wall Street Journal – Tale of the Tape Retailers Take Receipts to Great Lengths
The Huffington Post – Evidence That CVS Receipts Are Getting Way Too Long
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