Shopping cart

Have you ever “borrowed” a shopping cart? You’re part of an $800 million global problem: archive

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Stolen shopping carts can cost businesses up to $800 million a year worldwide, according to the Food Marketing Institute in Washington, D.C. A single shopping cart can easily cost retailers $300 each (in Canada), so when you multiply this figure by the large number of grocery stores in operation and thefts that occur there, the cost of these losses explodes.

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These high-tech models, with the wheels locking when you leave a retailer’s parking lot, have successfully stopped theft and several municipalities across the continent have attempted to pass bylaws to remedy the situation. . However, the problem persists. A news report from New York State a few years ago noted that a typical grocery store can still lose $10,000 a year due to stolen shopping carts. And, this summer alone, a Safeway store in San Francisco reported that it lost 160 carts in a single month, or more than five a day on average. Now, customers who need to bring a large order to their vehicles must request the assistance of a store employee if they want to push their cart outside the store.

The problem of stolen shopping carts is not new. Over the years, Norma Marr, longtime researcher and librarian of the Herald, has prepared an article called The H Files, in which she reflects on a myriad of current events in Calgary. His September 1998 installments included an article on the problem of “borrowed” shopping carts. In 1976, Calgary grocers told the Herald that the problem of stolen carts was costing them several thousand dollars a year. A cart, at the time, cost about $60.