Have you ever “borrowed” a basket? You are part of an 800 million dollar global problem: archives

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Stolen shopping carts can cost businesses up to $ 800 million a year globally, according to the Food Marketing Institute in Washington, DC A single cart can easily cost retailers (in Canada) $ 300 each, so when you multiply that number by the large number of operating grocery stores and the thefts that occur there, the cost of those losses skyrockets.

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These high-tech models, with the wheels locking when you exit a retailer’s parking lot, have helped stop the theft and several municipalities across the continent have attempted to pass regulations that correct the situation. However, the problem persists. A few years ago, an article from New York State indicated that a typical grocery store can still lose $ 10,000 a year due to stolen carts. And, just this summer, a Safeway store in San Francisco reported that it had lost 160 carts in a single month, or more than five a day on average. Now, customers who have to take a large order in their vehicles must seek help from 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, a longtime Herald researcher and librarian, has prepared an article called The H Files, in which she delves into a myriad of current events in Calgary. Its September 1998 installments included an article that examines the problem of “borrowed” shopping carts. In 1976, Calgary grocers told the Herald that the stolen cart problem was costing them several thousand dollars a year. A cart, at the time, cost around $ 60.


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Peggy P. Gilmore

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