Wegmans Launches Shopping Cart Security System in Auburn Store | Business

Wegmans shopping carts may become less common on the streets of Auburn.

The supermarket chain has installed a new security system for its trolleys, Gatekeeper, at its downtown store. The system allows shopping carts to be used only within a perimeter. If customers try to push a cart past this perimeter, its wheels lock up. Gatekeeper’s patented SmartWheel uses RFID to make the technology possible.

A spokesperson for Wegmans told the Citizen that the system was installed in the Auburn store last week and is fully operational. Parts of the perimeter of the system have been painted to mark it for customers.

Auburn is the pilot store for the chain’s use of Gatekeeper, the spokesperson said. There are several reasons why Wegmans decided to install the system there, including the costs of replacing the carts and getting them back to the store. Prior to the installation of the system, Wegmans hired a company to salvage the carts that were removed from the property.

The spokesperson declined to answer questions from The Citizen asking how many carts the Auburn store has lost and how much they cost to replace.

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The spokesperson also declined to answer a question asking whether the city of Auburn’s new $ 100 cart recovery fee for retailers influenced the Gatekeeper installation. City manager Jeff Dygert asked city council to add the fee to the city’s budget last spring. At the time, he called the stray carts on the city streets a “permanent problem”.

Fifty years ago, on February 17, the Auburn Wegmans opened its automatic doors.

Speaking to The Citizen on Wednesday, Dygert said he appreciated Wegmans trying to resolve the issue.

“It’s a question of quality of life,” he said. “Having shopping carts all over town, and not just theirs, but it detracts from the look of the town.”

Dygert said the city has yet to collect a $ 100 fee from Wegmans or other retailers, as none have attempted to retrieve the carts collected by the Department of Public Works since the spring.

“At first glance, it looks like some retail establishments don’t care about their demise,” he said. “I don’t know what else to think about it.”

Lake Life Editor-in-Chief David Wilcox can be reached at (315) 282-2245 or david.wilcox@lee.net. Follow him on twitter @drwilcox.



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Peggy P. Gilmore