The story of Johnny the Bagger

It must be the worst case movie ever, but it still seems a remarkable story. A grocery store bagger named Johnny, who has Down Syndrome – took it upon himself to find a new way to reach out to customers, and completely revolutionized a store.

Johnny the Bagger

The story begins with employee-motivation expert Barbara Glanz. She claims in her own video that she spoke to an audience of 3,000 employees of a major grocery chain, some years ago. She told the crowd, “Every one of you can make a difference and create memories for your customers that will motivate them to come back”. So far, nothing new.

One bagger with Down Syndrome, Johnny, contacted her later to say he had thought about her advice, and came up with a plan to create those memories. Each day when he got home from work he would type and print out a thought for the day on the family’s home computer. Then, the next day, as he bagged groceries, he’d put a slip with his thought (signed with his name) into the bag.

The response was astonishing. Customers reported they had switched to shopping the store more often, as they didn’t want to miss any of Johnny’s thoughts. Soon his checkout line ran the length of the store, full of customers who refused to switch to shorter lines. Only Johnny’s line would give them the thought for the day.

Pretty cool how exceeding expectations on seemingly irrelevant touchpoints have huge consequences.

Note: It must be true, right? Who would misuse a Down-syndrome patient to build a story? And even, if it isn’t true; makes you think.

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