ELK GROVE, Calif. -- If you are the parent of a young child, a trip to Costco likely means a smiley face on your receipt as you leave the store. But that is no longer the case at the Elk Grove location.

Several employees in Elk Grove have said they are no longer allowed to draw the smiley faces. For many kids, the simple doodle is a highlight of a trip to Costco. There are even websites dedicated to Costco receipt art.

So, why has the Elk Grove Costco seemingly banned the smiley face? We checked in with the Costco corporate office. They told us, “There is no corporate policy regarding smiley faces on member's receipts.” They did, however, offer an explanation on why they check receipts - more on that below.

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A smiley face on the back of a Costco receipt.

We reached out to Costco in Elk Grove on Thursday, but the manager did not want to comment on the smiley faces. Another manager had said the previous week that there had been some complaints.

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At this point, the decision appears to be limited to just the Elk Grove location. Let us know if there has been a policy change at your local Costco.

What do you think about the smiley faces?

Why does Costco check receipts when leaving the store?

Here is the answer from Costco corporate:

"It is standard practice at all our warehouse locations to verify purchase receipts when customers exit our buildings.

We do this to double-check that the items purchased have been correctly processed by our cashiers. It's our most effective method of maintaining accuracy in inventory control, and it's also a good way to ensure that our members have been charged properly for their purchases."