Kmart has achieved the seemingly impossible by increasing its already high popularity within the local community, and it’s all because unlike the supermarkets they are still giving out free plastic bags. Kmart’s increased popularity over the last few years has surprised even its owners and managers, and has resulted in a cult status for the discount retailer, often fuelled by a prominent social media fangirling that almost rivals cat videos.

But now the leading retailer is reaching even higher levels of fandom in the wake of the much-publicised plastic bag ban implementing by Coles, Safeway and IGA. One local shopper said, “Yeah, when the supermarkets banned the bag I wasn’t sure how I was going to line the small bins in my house, pick up my dog’s poo, separate my dirty clothes from my clean clothes when I go away on holiday. You know, all that. But when I went to Kmart yesterday they were just giving away plastic bags for anything and everything. It was awesome.”

A Kmart employee from a local store also told The Watsonia Bugle that he felt customer numbers were up and sales had increased since the beginning of this month. He said, “I haven’t seen the actual figures, but I reckon we’ve been heaps busier since the supermarkets banned the bags. At first I just thought it was a coincidence but it’s been almost four weeks now, and customers keep telling us how much they love getting free plastic bags. We never really planned for this, but it’s been good for sales I guess.”