So, as Vermont associates figure out the day-to-day details of going bagless—how cashiers will deal with carousels, for example, and whether extra shopping carts will be needed at the front end on busy weekends—everything they learn can help other stores move forward with their sustainability efforts.
Suzanne says Walmart will be talking to associates and customers to evaluate how the program works.
“We're going to be doing surveys and calls with associates to go through everything—what they liked, what they didn't like, how they were prepared. We're also going to survey customers and monitor social media,” she explains. “Feedback from all fronts will help shape the future of this initiative.”
Suzanne expects competitors to follow where Walmart leads. She says the company is already collaborating with other leading retailers like Target and CVS Health as part of the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag. In February 2021, the group announced winners of its “Beyond the Bag” Challenge, a global contest that invited individuals and companies to submit alternative ways for shoppers to transport goods.
“It's an interesting experience to be on the frontlines of this,” Cassie says of the pilot. “To know that my store and my state are going to be creating little to no plastic bag waste, essentially, at the store level is a pretty fun thing to think about.”