Shopping Cart Problems
After they check out at the cash register, a growing number of customers are checking out with their shopping carts. The problem of disappearing shopping carts has prompted Gainesville City officials to send a letter to police, asking them to salvage carts found around town. Shoppers say taking the carts leads to higher prices.
Eliana Gray is regular shopper at Ward's.
"oh yeah I shop here all the time, I tell people about their spice rack," she says.
She's shocked because people are walking away with carts from the property.
"really, I can't believe that."
Ward's workers say they've seen a number of people take their carts.
"on a consistent basis we probably have three to four shopping carts per day that goes off our property," says Danielle Williams a Manager from Ward's Supermarket."
Normally Williams says she finds the carts at bus stops but other times she has to search the neighborhood.
"we do have shopping carts that make it off where we do have to get in a vehicle and do a neighborhood search to find them," Williams says.
If they're not found, it could cost Ward's 100 bucks per cart.
"It's frustrating, its very frustrating it takes away from out time here we could be helping our customers and we would like for it not to happen," Williams says
"I think everybody knows they're not supposed to take the shopping carts away," Steve Joplin from the Sanitation Department says.
Sanitation officials say taking shopping carts of the property is illegal but its hard to enforce.
"most retail establishments have some kind of sign up asking people to please not remove them from the premises," Joplin states.
But Gray says stealing shopping carts not only hurts the business but will cost you in the long run.
"if you're going to shop here, why would you take the cart and you know this is going to impact their business prices towards you as a consumer?"
So business owners hope shoppers will sing a different tune.
One option Ward's may consider is a security device that stops the cart once it leaves the property. This device is already in use at some other stores, including the CVS on 13th Street near Gainesville High School.
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