Target Joins Walmart in Charging for Bags, and Customers Are Furious

published Mar 28, 2023
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Front view of the Target Store in Sherwood, Oregon.
Credit: Tada Images / Shutterstock

No matter the time of day, I’m always down for a Target run. There’s something about the way the shopping cart glides around, allowing me to stop right in front of all the new things I didn’t know I needed before I got into the store. Personal feelings aside, however, there’s no denying that Target is constantly innovating and making changes geared toward sustainability. And in their latest efforts to do just that, the retailer announced they would join rival grocer Walmart in charging customers for bags for Drive Up and Order Pickup orders.

The new fee is pursuant to state and local mandates, but shoppers will start seeing the charge on their orders through the Target app and website soon. To ensure that enough bags are allocated per purchase, a surcharge of $1 for 10 bags will automatically be added to each order — which works out to about 10 cents per bag. If a customer uses less than 10 bags, the final order invoice will be adjusted to reflect the correct amount, but the changes will not appear on the app. Consumers will be given the option to decline bags at the time of pickup, and a refund will be issued to their original payment method, but there is no option for “no bags” when checking out.

The new policy aims to combat waste and pollution issues by reducing the amount of plastic bags given out, and encourages customers to use reusable bags in their place. Though the change is intended to have a positive impact, the news has been met with frustration from consumers who feel that the charge is just another blow to their wallets. Currently, the charge is only applicable in specific states and municipalities; however, growing pressure on corporations to make a shift toward sustainability could change that in the very near future.

Still want to avoid the bag fee? Make a trip out of it and shop in-store instead. Who knows, you may just find a new favorite grocery item.