CVS Bows to Pressure, Will Shorten Its Insanely Long Receipts

A long receipt exits a self service register at a CVS Pharmacy store in Brooklyn, New York.

Following an onslaught of media coverage and social media mockery, CVS has agreed to stop giving comically long receipts to its ExtraCare Rewards members.

In a Facebook post Friday night, CVS (CVS) chief marketing officer Rob Price acknowledged the complaints about its receipts -- which in some cases measure more than 3 feet long for a single item -- and said it would take steps to shorten them.

"You asked for ALL the savings and LESS paper," he wrote. "So, we've found a way to reduce the size of the ExtraCare portion of your receipts by 25% while still providing you all the coupons and rewards."

He went on to say that the shorter receipts will be rolling out in the next few weeks, and that the "Send to Card" program, which allows you to send select coupon offers directly to your ExtraCare card, will be expanded next year to include all coupons and offers. That means that ExtraCare members can get all the offers, but with a standard-sized receipt.

We stumbled across the issue last week, when an AOL employee bought a single item at a local CVS and wound up with a 38-inch receipt. As we would discover, plenty of shoppers had begun grumbling on social media about similarly long receipts, with some musing about alternative uses for the paper.

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Other media outlets, including FastCompany and the Huffington Post, likewise picked up on the spreading meme. In its post Friday, CVS showed some sense of humor, acknowledging the "very creative uses" people had come up with for their receipts.

It's worth noting that the receipts are still going to be pretty long. It's only a 25% reduction, and only in the coupon portion of the receipt; by our math, that's a reduction of between 6 and 10 inches, so you're still looking at receipts that are upwards of 2 feet in length. That's not quite long enough to wear as a beauty pageant sash, and will prompt a bit less mockery on Twitter, but it still seems like quite a waste of paper.

So if that's a concern for you, by all means take advantage of the Send to Card feature. And if not, take CVS's advice: "Don't forget to recycle."

Matt Brownell is the consumer and retail reporter for DailyFinance. You can reach him at, and follow him on Twitter at @Brownellorama.