Grocery stores are now punishing us for not buying anything

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Not so long ago, it was easy to do grocery shopping with baskets and shopping carts. And low tech too.

Last weekend, I was shopping with my two kids at the Price Chopper grocery store in Vermont. My 18 month old was strapped to a baby seat in her shopping cart (this keeps both the child safe and my sanity while shopping). I was looking for something specific in the store. I said when Price Chopper didn’t have what it needed. My older child complained about having to go to yet another store, but overall, no big deal.

I left the store and walked towards the exit at normal speed, only the cart did not leave the store. It was locked in place with a threshold and this shuddered my 18 month old in her seat as I was walking pretty fast. Had I known I would be locked out, I wouldn’t have bothered her. Why couldn’t you carry the cart to your car?

Before I know it, the store I’ve been shopping at for years has a new trick in their security toolbelt: lock the wheels so you don’t leave the store with your cart if you haven’t passed through the checkout lane. I know the shopping cart from long ago Lock when you reach the perimeter of the store parking lot— how to keep people from taking carts to themselves — but it was the first time for me to have a cart locked on the way out of a store.

Why Stores Use Lockable Grocery Carts

These anti-theft grocery carts have been a national favorite in recent years. WAFF48, Huntsville, Alabama boasted about Kurt’s ability to stop a man from leaving a store with $600 worth of unpurchased groceries. He had succeeded in shoplifting a cart full of clothes.

KOIN6 in Portland, Oregon performed the function About carts and how they work. In this video, Fred’s assistant manager at his Mayer store in the Portland area explains that a sensor in his checkout lane acts as a “disabling device,” turning off the cart’s locking mechanism. I’m here. She says the cart has to be in front of the sensor for about 30 seconds to deactivate.

Of course, this is an imperfect system. What if you don’t have to unload 30 seconds worth of groceries? Same KOIN6 video It also shows an older woman putting groceries in her bag and stopping at the door with the cart lock. Assistant Her manager rushes over with a remote electronic device to free the wheels, explaining, “After a certain amount of time, they lock up.”原文: It took me too long to get out of here.

Then there’s the issue of people like me. The store didn’t have what I needed, so I didn’t buy anything and was stuck at the door as a result. An employee came over to unlock my cart. He didn’t ask me, but if he had a lot of reusable shopping bags, always have now), he may have searched for them. Even if the cart was about to be locked empty-handed, there was no way to get the cart back into the outdoor cart corral without the help of an employee. This dubious loss prevention system seems to give stores an incentive to question and seek out people who have done nothing wrong.

At Price Chopper, carts were primarily used to push babies around. In the event of sudden danger in that store – an understandably chaotic situation – the quickest way to escape was to push her into the cart and drive her out of the store rather than messing around with buckles and straps. Could it be? It may seem like an unfounded hypothesis, but I was evacuated from the target due to the bomb threat.

You might think, “Forget about locked shopping carts,” or “Let’s carry a hand basket instead.” It may not be that easy either. Fred Meyer is the same chain as his segment on glowing news about shopping cart theft protection. completely robbed the shopping basket Claimed baskets were stolen frequently at its Portland base in 2021. News article from new jersey When connecticut This summer, grocers condemned basket theft and a new law banning plastic bags.

Robert Rybick, president and CEO of Geissler’s Supermarkets, said: Said of Hartford Courant The problem was so big that the store had lost “65 to 70 percent” of its baskets and the matter was to be discussed at the next Executive Committee meeting, he said. Mary Ellen Peppard, vice president of the New Jersey Food Council, said: Said Many stores had no plans to replace the stolen baskets.

“These baskets are expensive and some stores have decided not to replace them,” says Peppard.basket reportedly cost About $8 each.

Coupled with this, News from the beginning of the year ALDI and other retailers, which have increased security measures for some groceries, such as putting meat behind glass, paint a bleak picture about the future of grocery shopping. There appears to be little published data on whether such measures prevent theft by a meaningful margin, especially when compared to the initial cost of implementing an elaborate cart-locking mechanism. Prevention is a tough puzzle to solve, but each new innovation seems to degrade the shopping experience for all of us. This includes employees as well.

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