5th Oct 2015
Money bags (I)
Smith &+ Village's response to the new carrier bag legislation will hopefully be a game changer for Booths.

Never let it be said that Smith &+ Village miss an opportunity to think about things more than they ought! We've managed to turn the legal headache of charging customers for plastic carriers into a new brand strategy and, hopefully, lucrative income stream for Booths.

When we first started talking about the 5p bag levy, Booths were aware that they had to do something to change their existing range of carriers and minimise customer irritation. They understood that some sort of higher value bag for life would have to be created but didn't know what form that should take.

When we started to think about this laterally, suddenly a fantastic opportunity presented itself. You see, the shopping bag has always been treated as a brand icon. Traditionally this has happened at the high end but in the past five years, other retailers have managed to create real customer affection and tribalism for their brands through their bags. Just think of all those Daunt Books bags slung over the shoulders of the would-be literati.

Smith &+ Village's simple idea was to do this for Booths: make a range of fabric bags that become icons of the brand rather than just being things to put shopping in. But it went slightly further than that. Trusting in the commercial power of good design, we have decided that the fabric bags should be real stunners and therefore able to become a revenue stream in their own right.

On launch day, we're hoping that Booths's customers are delighted rather than irritated by their new bag policy, so delighted, in fact, that they might buy more than one.