Shopping cart ordinances coast to coast (4/2010)

More and more US cities are implementing ordinances to address the issue of abandoned shopping carts . They are being designated visual blights, annoyances and a public nuisance. The scattered carts have caused car accidents and personal injury quite aside from the environmental pollution.

The latest cities implementing ordinances are Monrovia , CA and just in the works now, Lynn , MA . Haphazardly discarded shopping carts are a coast to coast national problem that some areas are taking quite seriously. From fines to retailers to even fines for customers caught with a cart off the premises, local governments are backing up what the people are saying - they don't like carts scattered all over their neighborhoods!

While retailers struggle to find the answer they learn the hard way that even the most expensive solutions doesn't stop the problem or deal with all aspects of it. Wheel locking systems sometimes have trouble in the winter with snow. The electronic perimeter systems sometimes go down in a storm and neither one is fool proof. The wheel locking systems also don't deal at all with the scattered carts in the parking lots leaving staff of these retailers out in all weather trying to round up stray and now also stubborn carts.

The Kartlok system is simple. This coin deposit lock is very inexpensive, requires minimal staff time for cart retreival, leaves customers to sort the mess of the parking lot for themselves, and doesn't have difficulty in different types of weather

Surprising Results in Recent Survey

Grossery cart loss prevention, shopping cart loss prevention

Despite knowing the benefits, retailers have been reluctant to employ a coin locking system on grocery carts for fear of turning away hard won customers.  Field research suggests something completely different.  It might be the way to keep them!

A recent Florida survey of customers using the coin locks on grocery carts showed that    

99% find the coin lock system easy to use.

95% believe the system helps reduce the number of scratches and dents on cars in the parking lot

99% believe the locks organize the carts from being scattered all around the parking lot.

99% believe the coin locking system reduces the number of carts on the streets in their neighborhoods.  

97% believe it would be helpful if other stores utilized the Kartlok system.

99% are happy to use the system to help reduce the cost of their groceries

Not only are they happy with the system, a large percentage of customers who were asked to further comment said they wished other stores would use the same.  They commented on how simple the system made it to find parking which reduced some of the stress of the shopping experience.  By far the most enthusiastic response however was with regards to the effect the system has on reducing the number of carts on the streets in their neighborhoods. 

Supermarkets should sit up and take notice of what REALLY upsets the customer.  Carts scattered in parking lots and neighborhoods are a clear nuisance to them and they don't like it.  Your customers are speaking and telling you the system you presently use is an inconvenience to them and provides no perceptible benefit.  Kartlok gives them an instantly recognizable benefit – a clear, easily navigable parking lot.  They want a solution and Kartlok works. 

Want to know more about this research?  Contact us and we would be happy to send you the details of what we discovered and why we did it.  We were as surprised by the results as anyone and we already believe!


Grocery cart loss prevention

Grossery cart loss prevention, shopping cart loss prevention

Everyone is looking for ways to reduce costs within their industries and never more so than in a difficult economy.  Businesses want to maintain or improve customer service while simultaneously reducing costs.  Sometimes it seems impossible whereas other times the answers are right in front of us.

One of the key areas today day is loss prevention .  For the supermarket and grocery retailer this issue is often focused on dealing with shopping cart loss which accounts for an enormous financial burden for the industry.  Grocery cart loss costs the industry several hundred million yearly. The Kartlok / Kartcoin system is aimed particularly at helping resolve the issue of cart abandonment both in the parking lots and in the community. The Kartlok is affixed to the grocery cart and requires a coin/token to unlock the cart for use.  When the customer is finished they must simply return the cart, lock it to another one in the corral and the money is returned. Imagine the ease of navigating a parking lot that is not littered with abandoned carts!  A simple but brilliant solution .

Kartlok is a newly introduced and very inexpensive system that costs a mere fraction of what the average retailer loses in just one year.  Though new to the United States this kind of system has been used with great success in Europe for many years virtually eliminating the problem of cart abandonment and loss. Maciver Enterprises is the distributor introducing this product in the USA and has an environmental message for us all.  Abandoned carts in our environment costs us all.  Higher prices to consumers due to higher costs for the retailer, increased pollution through cart collection services and rusting grocery carts in our communities, increased grocery cart production requiring extra resources and finally, the visual pollution and disorganization for us all when they are abandoned in our communities.

Simple to use, with no cost to customers, the Kartlok system offers the retail industry significant cost reductions, offers customers an organized shopping experience and offers local communities an environmental solution.  


An environmentally friendly solution the Kartlok
system means:

  • Fewer carts, and cart parts, end up in landfill, waterways & greenspaces.
  • Fewer carts, and cart parts, need to be manufactured.
  • Fewer wildlife deaths (birds, fish & flora have all been reportedly affected).
  • Fewer accidents with stray carts for pedestrians, drivers & parked vehicles.
  • Tax dollars diverted to more worthy projects.
  • Reduced store costs allowing for price reductions & better customer service.
  • Utilizes the $1 coin which is also environmentally friendly.
  • Kartlok is 100% recyclable at the end of its working life!

In essence the use of Kartlok will improve public health and safety, protect property, and reduce the negative environmental impact of cart abandonment.


Feral carts: A plague on our environment


Abandoned carts are not only an unattractive blight on our communities and a public nuisance but are also hazardous for pedestrians, motorists, vehicles, children & wildlife.

  • Carts disposed of in waterways trap animals, marine life & collect debris.
  • Carts can obstruct the flow of a waterway causing serious flood risks.
  • Retrieval of carts from waterways pose health & safety risks for workers.
  • Wildlife get caught in stray carts injuring or killing themselves.
  • Carts present a safety hazard for people & vehicles when disposed of near roadways.
  • Broken & damaged carts can lead to injuries particularly with children & wildlife.
  • Retailers raise their prices to account for cart losses.
  • Government spends time & tax dollars collecting & disposing of abandoned carts.
  • Environmental neglect encourages disrespect & increases the likelihood of vandalism.
  • Car insurance premiums rise due to the number of cart related vehicular accidents.
  • Decomposition in the natural environment could take decades.


Other News

  • Many areas of the UK & Australia have taken drastic action to combat the stray cart problem ranging from mandatory coin locks, legislation to levy fines & increased fees for cart return.
  • Over 200 cities around the United States have implemented ordinances requiring retailers to find ways to keep their carts from leaving their property, and this number is rising.
  • Retrieval, repair & replacement costs can easily add more than $15,000/year/store, which are passed directly on to the consumer.
  • An estimated 7% gets added to consumer prices to account for this practice!
  • It can take more than $1million in sales for a retailer to make up for this level of loss and many stores experience significantly greater cart loss.
  • Cart losses cost the industry more than $800 million globally every year.

For more information

Did you know... there's a new coin in town!

It's been a well kept secret but it's time to spread the word! The presidential US$1 coin is circulating. The US Mint is honouring the nation's past presidents by issuing coins in their memory. With a new design released every 3 months for 10 years, that's 40 different versions in all and it's time to start using it. Why you ask?

Because ‘Gold is Green' of course.

  • The coin is environmentally friendly. It lasts up to 20 times longer than a dollar bill & is 100% recyclable (30 years vs 20 months). Think of the trees it saves!
  • The coin saves the government & therefore the taxpayer money. The government can save over $500 million each year if we switch to coins instead of paper. That is billions over a decade that could all be put to better use.
  • It weighs less than 4 quarters in your pocket (8.1 g instead of 22.7g).
  • All federal funded facilities are mandated to dispense these coins which means they are serious about saving the nation money.

For more information$1coin/2009AttachF.pdf

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