From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bagger, packer, sacker or bag boy (US)[1] is an unofficial title given to a courtesy clerk at a grocery store.[2]

Job profile[edit]

The primary duties of a bagger revolve around putting groceries into a shopping bag[3][1] and then into a shopping cart. Upon requests, baggers may take the groceries out to a customer's motor vehicle or supply other forms of service.[4] Some baggers in stores will do this unless the customer refuses and wishes to bring their own groceries out. Depending on store policy, it may be customary to tip a courtesy clerk for this service.[5]

Depending on the store, other duties may include cleaning the store, cleaning the bathrooms, collecting carts, sweeping the store, fixing and maintaining the bottle recycling machines, giving customer assistance, putting back items left behind, and reorganizing products on aisles to make a neater appearance (commonly called "breaking down", "blocking", "facing", or "conditioning"). Some courtesy clerks can perform maintenance in the stores, such as minor plumbing, electrical, landscaping, child care, elderly assistance, and many more jobs.[6] The duties vary vastly depending on the store and union regulations, and some of the previous duties, in fact, are actually prohibited from being done at some stores by a courtesy clerk due to union contracts.


The title of bagger is the result of an extensive evolution of the position of courtesy clerk. The title bag boy was adopted for some time, until it was finally shortened to bagger.


The position of baggers is particularly widespread in grocery stores in the United States. There are volunteer baggers in Mexico who primarily offer services for tips.[7]

Other countries never adopted this service. There are no baggers in Norway.[8] In Germany, self-service is standard[9] and shopping carts are also used to load one’s vehicle oneself, without necessarily transferring goods to a bag first, with the American branch of Aldi also utilizing this type of non-bagging service to reduce overall store costs (though bags are sold in stores to account for customers loading their own bags in the dedicated bagging section in front of the store after checkout).

Convenience stores usually do not employ baggers. The customer frequency is too low. Instead, cashiers may perform the duties of a bagger (provided the purchase volume is significant enough). In territories prohibiting alcohol consumption in public, liquor stores bag individual bottles at the checkout.


  1. ^ a b "bag boy". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved 2021-01-24.
  2. ^ Ryan Jacobson (2014-10-01). Get a Job at a Business. Lerner Publications. pp. 12 and following. ISBN 978-1-4677-4755-4.
  3. ^ "Hand Laborers and Material Movers". Occupational Outlook Handbook. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2020-09-01. Retrieved 2021-01-24.
  4. ^ Tricia Christensen (2020-12-27). "What does a Bagger do?". Retrieved 2021-01-24.
  5. ^ "Bagger Duties for Resume". Cover Letters and Resume. Archived from the original on 2015-05-11. Retrieved 2015-04-26.
  6. ^ Shelley Moore (2017-07-05). "Grocery Bagger Job Descriptions". Retrieved 2021-01-24.
  7. ^ Paul Kurtzweil (2018-01-20). "Mexico: Why You Should Always Tip Your Bagger". Retrieved 2021-01-24.
  8. ^ Melanie Coffee (2017-10-13). "The joys of grocery shopping in Norway". Retrieved 2021-01-24. You have to bag your own groceries. Norwegians are very self-sufficient and extremely practical. Why would you pay someone to bag your groceries when you can do it yourself?
  9. ^ Daniel Hamermesh (2011-03-25). "Do You Bag Your Own Groceries?". Retrieved 2021-01-24.