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More Stores Should Imply "The Aldi's Effect"

There's nothing wrong with a quarter in the cart.

Photo of Lew Sterling

Written by

I am not sure about you who are reading this, but I am still not a fond of shopping carts being placed outside the store in other parking spots (like outside Walmart and Whole Foods Market) and even on the sides of the streets or store walkways to the point where some even steal them or place shopping carts in other stores' general area (like in some decent-sized plazas with multiple stores that have carts eg. a Publix shopping cart outside Walgreens).


So, when it comes to Aldi's, I know that you must put a quarter in the right-hand side of the shopping cart so you can freely use it while you are in the store along with the fact that you have to put the shopping cart back to where it rightfully belongs. I honestly think every store should do this method for when they have shopping carts. Also, if anyone tried to steal a shopping cart, then you can't get their quarter back due to the mechanism in the top-right of the shopping cart. This would also have time for the "cart boys" that work for the store for all they have to do, for the store that have the mini shopping cart sections (the ones located in between parking spaces) and they would have the do is get the end cart, put a quarter in, haul the whole row carts to the inside, clip and get their quarter back as well. People should put the carts where they rightfully found it.

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

Well, the stores will definitely use this as a way to update and innovate their business along with us, the customers, to be more proactive in putting the shopping carts where we originally got them from.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Pilot - you have implemented your solution in a real-world scenario

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

I never had much of a plan with regards to this, but I do think it should be addressed as something to improve the "traffic" of a store's parking lot.

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

I did not have a team for I recently thought about this idea when I went out shopping and there was a shopping cart in a parking spot while it was next to the mini shopping cart spot in the parking lot.

Size of your team or organization

  • I am submitting as an individual

Funding Request

  • $50,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

For now, I think it would be best to message more stores that do not do this already to message them about giving it a try to save them the process and time of losing shopping carts. I commonly see other store's shopping carts in other stores without hesitation, but I have found some some so steal them for their stores to save money in buying new shopping carts. I remember one story a friend of mine told me: He was walking home with multiple bags of groceries. On his way home, there was a guy walking on the sidewalk with a shopping cart full of beer. They were about to pass each other and the guy's shopping cart getting stuck in the sandy part of the sidewalk. My friend's hands were full, but decided to help the guy out. While my friend helped the guy out, the cart snagged on the back of my friend's jeans and flip-flops not only ripping a hole in my friend's jeans, but also breaking my friend's flip-flops forcing my friend to walk the rest of the way home barefoot.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

In terms of piloting this idea, one common method would be to message/email/mail stores that have shopping carts like Publix, Walmart, Whole Foods Market, etc. about the idea as a way for them to get an idea as to what we, the customers, had in mind in improving the company (especially from companies who have "please give your feedback at this web address" on the bottom or back of their receipts). I think giving feedback like that may tend to have some, but at the same time, some companies are competing again each other in terms of who is doing what better. By letting companies know that they should be like Aldi's in terms of their shopping carts, it may give those companies a thought as to what they can do to innovate themselves as a company/business.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

For now, the plan I have in mind is to just message more stores (that have shopping carts) about giving this method a try to save them the process and time of losing shopping carts that rightfully belong to them. For example, I have seen Walmart shopping carts in a Price Choice parking lot when Walmart is literally a 20 minute walk from the Price Choice.

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19 comments

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Photo of Robert P Tweed
Team

However i could still take a cart with a quarter. If i may suggest something. If they are needing the cart the whole way home. Then a rental fee is applied at the counter. If not they get their quarter back. Or if a quarter system is used, make the wheels lock if it goes past a distance. Like an electric dog colar reacts, or install a tracking tablet securely, an if it goes past a point. It automatically locks the wheels and requests the customer rent it out. And thus the customer becomes responsible. Like the library charges if their property isn't returned.

Photo of Lew Sterling
Team

I like the idea about adding a rental fee for those who take the carts; that way, the store earns extra while making sure their cart count is not decreasing. I will keep that idea in mind; thanks for the thought. But, how much would the rental fee be and for how long, though?

Photo of Robert P Tweed
Team

Well as to be fair take say a two week survey on at the counter as they check out. And use that info to get an average time the cart is needed. I would love to say .50 cents for every 3hours out.
That way the renter would understand the stores cart needs.

Photo of Lew Sterling
Team

It's ironic you say that since I have dealt with 2-week surveys and 2-week diaries before and they are were all online yet quite creative. 50 cents for every 3 hours seems fine of a cart check out. Why did you choose 50 cents specifically?

Photo of Robert P Tweed
Team

I figured that most people that don't have a car. Still need to do laundry, and that often means having quarters. As if its to high then you have people complain. So for that amount if they don't get it back it won't break their bank, and it will teach respect for the stores property. So if they do say rent it for .50cent/3hours. If they had a handicapped in my case then I'd owe you 1.20 if i had to keep it 12 hours. And you multiply $1.20 x100 for example. With the understanding on the rental that the property must be respected and if it isn't you have the right to tell the person not to shop unless they have someone respectful with them to return the carts. And I'm a little knowledgable about systems and technology after so many years.

Photo of Lew Sterling
Team

That is true on a fair amount not having a car or possible bike to get to places faster. I do agree on that statement since you commonly do need quarters in order do store-bought laundry. Then again, people complain over some of the most unusual things, though. Well, $1.20 x 100 would be $120, which is interesting. Then again, what if one refuses to pay the rental or even apply for the fee. In fact, do you think it would be reasonable if they signed an agreement along with paying a rental fee? I guess you can call it a "shopping cart rental fee membership"...right? I thought it since some stores do have memberships in order to shop in their stores like Sam's Club or Costco.

Photo of MaCie' Moore
Team

Lew Sterling and Robert P Tweed , i really like you guys engagement on this topic and the willingness to share and accept each others ideas! Please remember collaboration is always welcome in the challenge! Keep communicating and interacting with other challenge participants. I can wait to read all the cool ideas you two come up with! Thanks again for your participation!

Photo of Robert P Tweed
Team

Yah it would be a straight forward agreement signed on the payment pad. If they wanted to borrow/ rent the cart do to no car. They would be allowed to ahop but not rent the cart if they couldn't get it back in a timely fashion. Or disfigured the property in some way. Wouldn't you agree that rental amount is very reasonable?

Photo of Lew Sterling
Team

While reading all of this, I was thinking about who use the carts by the bus stops since I know buses will never accept one on the bus despite the carry. At the same time, I recently see some carts placed on their sides for people to sit by during bus stops since some do not have seats.

Photo of Robert P Tweed
Team

So then i would perseave that a unit that could carry their groceries if they had no car would be beneficial? And they would have to honor the agreement, and then they could enjoy that privilege. And then get home easier and sooner.

Photo of Lew Sterling
Team

For the ones that have no vehicle, I was thinking what would happen if they actually take it from the stores to the point where there are little to no carts left in the store? Getting home safe and sound is fine, but at the same time, the store should have a fair amount of carts since they are rightfully theirs.

Photo of Robert P Tweed
Team

Yes the wheels will lock if it leaves the perimeter an not rented. Simple solution

Photo of Lew Sterling
Team

They do lock, but some people know how to oddly unlock them.

Photo of Robert P Tweed
Team

Sounds like the wheel locking system needs additional focus. I figured your suggestion could work on that.

Photo of Lew Sterling
Team

I am trying to think of a way on how to have the wheels actually lock when one tries to "escape" past the store's parking lot.

Photo of Robert P Tweed
Team

Maybe install a remote/Bluetooth deadbolt linked to a Ring/ADT or your own security systems for stores cart property. Like a tracker device for carts. A simple program/website would be created that would show the location, an even use a micro camera to capture criminal behavior/tampering of their property. Then thats sent to the Police Security and they apprehend them.

Photo of Lew Sterling
Team

A remote seems safier and better than an ADT when it comes to the carts, but it must be connected to the wheels to make them easier to keep them from actually escaping.

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