Returning the Cart

I had been thinking about what to post about tonight and then at the grocery store my mind wandered to one of my pet peeves.

Winco, Covid 19, essential trip, grocery store, shelter in placeWhen I go to the grocery store, I usually park in about the same place each time. I find a place that is a bit away from the entrance and is also close to one of the cart returns.

This is for a couple reasons. One is that the spots near the entrance are used a lot more and I would have to hunt for a spot. Then, I would have to be more careful when leaving because of people driving up and down through the area and also people walking by. I would rather park a little further away and get even more exercise walking into the building. In the long run it doesn’t take much more time or effort.

Also, being close to a cart return makes it easier to return the cart.

cart return, grocery store, grocery cart, curb, pet peeveOf course for a large number of people returning the cart is easy. You just pop it up over the curb or better yet just leave it in an empty parking spot where it can roll away and hit something.

If you weren’t thinking and parked far away from a cart return this is definitely much easier.

cart return, grocery store, grocery cart, curb, pet peeveEven if you park close to the cart return you can still be lazy and not put it in and take up a parking space.

cart return, grocery store, grocery cart, curb, pet peeveIs it really easier to pop the cart up over the curb than to push it over to the cart return? Of course late in the evening taking up that parking space is not a big deal. There are plenty of spaces available for people to park.

Isn’t it the job of somebody who works in the store to bring all the carts back into the store? However, leaving carts all over the place makes the job for this person harder and keeps them from doing other tasks. I remember well working in a grocery store during college and being on cart duty was not fun. We didn’t have the motorized cart movers that many big stores use today. It was hard work.

I was looking for a picture tonight and couldn’t find it. It was a picture of the mechanism where you have to use a coin to release a cart for use and then get it back when you return the cart. Of course, people would still leave carts around, but at least you would probably have groups of kids who would return the carts for the pocket money and keep the parking lots safe from rouge carts.

I know that Aldi uses this system. I see it more often in other places in the world like Germany, UK and Canada. It is not surprising that Aldi uses it since they are a German company.

Aldi is expanding northward in California and with the opening of another Fresno store later this month will only be about 110 miles away. Perhaps one will open here in the next couple of years. This however would disappoint people who would rather have a Trader Joe’s which is also owned by Aldi.

What do you do with your cart after you finish shopping?




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2 Responses to Returning the Cart

  1. Luis Barreiro says:

    In Spain they usually have a system like this:

    All carts are chained one to the other. To release your cart, you must put a coin (usually, one euro or fifty cents) in the slot. The coin is locked until you insert the chain back in the cart. This is a huge incentive to correctly return the carts.

  2. Always return it!!! To me it’s a no-brainer. At times I think some people need them to lean on, so when getting to their car in the handicapped spot or elsewhere, would have a hard time get back to their vehicle without the assistant of the cart. But this is a rare exception.

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