Two main companies, fighting the battle against wandering/stolen shopping carts as well as shopping cart pushout theft. Carttronics and Gatekeeper Systems are leading the industry and saving companies money, immediately. Large retailers across the country, and the world, are turning to this fairly simple system to save them thousands in the long run from cart loss/theft.
Every trip to a major store such as Walmart, Target or Home Depot is filled with shopping carts as far as the eye can see. Well, thanks to new shopping cart wheel lock technology that is spreading, they won’t be as far as the eye can see anymore. The system itself is very similar to a dog’s electric fence, with a minor modification. Upon installation, a small wire is placed beneath the ground around the desired perimeter (often the parking lot and nearby public transportation spots) which relays to a receiver somewhere secure on site. Each cart is equipped with a CAPS wheel locking caster (in the case of Carttronics). This highly visible yellow caster, once activated, will rotate around one of the shopping cart wheels and separate it from the ground, thus rendering the cart very difficult to move. A worker with the receiver, can then easily deactivate this caster and return the cart to the desired location. Yet another great feature of this system is the internet connected transmitter that provides 24/7 remote monitoring. Although this particular system is nearly half of the price of the carts themselves, in the long run it can save a large store thousands and pay for itself rather quickly.
Another area of vulnerability for retailers is shopping cart pushout theft. It’s far too easy and common for individuals to fill up a cart with merchandise, disguise it in bags, and simply walk right out the front door. Gatekeeper Systems specializes in this area. With a similar wheel locking system to Carttronics, a shopping cart can only be allowed to exit the store if it has passed through a checkout and been given “exit permission”. Customers can’t avoid the checkouts and walk out the wide entrances anymore. A benefit of this system is that besides the wheel lock mechanism itself, the system is invisible to the customer and potential thief. The audible and visible alarm a theft triggers will save thousands of dollars, especially in high theft areas.
Both of these systems target different areas in which retailers, especially large ones, are vulnerable. It’s a fairly simple decision to choose one or both systems to prevent theft and save potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run in a budget cost that often gets overlooked.