A few years ago I was traveling through Albuquerque, and I parked my motor coach in front of a Barnes & Noble store, which had a big grocery store next to it. I noticed that there were several shopping carts at the edge of the parking lot near the sidewalk. And I tried to figure out why, but later I realize that folks had tried to steal those carts and when they got to the edge of the pavement there were electronic lines buried just inches under the concrete. That line triggered a locking mechanism on one or two of the wheels on the cart.
Those folks that thought they were going to steal the shopping cart or take it from the premises were rudely awakened by a shopping cart that would move, and their only choice at that point would be to carry it away or disable the wheel and locking mechanism, meaning it wouldn’t roll anyway. That is one ingenious way to prevent your carts from being stolen because the average shopping cart replacement these days, as the price of steel has increased, is well over $80. At $80 a pop, you can’t afford to have homeless folks stealing your carts.
Other strategies that are recommended by the Retail Grocery Association are to make your shopping carts a bright and unique color with your logo on the side, and everyone will know where the shopping cart belongs, and that it was stolen from an actual business. You see, if you have a standard cage like shopping cart with one of those little plastic flaps where the children’s feet go through, then the person who commandeers the cart can merely rip that plastic piece off, and no one will know which store it belongs to, including the police.
A homeless person can merely say that they found it, and it’s hard to say where it was stolen. By having a bright yellow, orange, or blue shopping cart with your company logo molded into the plastic, this will also prevent people from rolling away your retail grocery store assets. It’s not that anyone wants to throw a bunch of homeless people in jail for petty theft. However at $80 a unit, you can’t afford that kind of loss on an ongoing basis. Indeed, I hope you will please consider all this and think on it. If you have any other ideas, case studies, or questions on how to prevent grocery store shopping carts from being stolen please send me an e-mail.