Wegmans tries pilot program to prevent basket loss

Wegmans uses a pilot program to try to keep shopping carts on their property.

The system is called Gatekeeper, and so far only one Wegmans in Auburn uses what the company calls a “cart retention system.” to try to prevent shopping carts from leaving store property.

A spokeswoman for Wegmans, Laura Camera, said if a cart is pulled out of a specified perimeter, the wheels will lock.

The program was first reported in the Citizen Auburn Last week.

Camera said Wegmans will continue to evaluate the pilot program to see if it is something that should be rolled out to other stores. She said there are several reasons they decided to use it at Wegmans in Auburn, including the cost of replacing the carts as well as the cost of locating and returning the missing carts to the store.

Wegmans said cart theft is an industry problem and affects all retail stores. The company noted that, according to the Food Marketing Institute, the annual costs due to cart theft are around $ 800 million.

Tops Markets spokeswoman Kathy Sautter said Tops had used a cart locking system in two dozen of its stores for several years.

She said this did not prevent cart thefts entirely, but said the stolen carts were a big expense and it was frustrating for buyers as well.

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Peggy P. Gilmore