I stopped in at Safeway to buy a few items. There were no shopping baskets by the door. I went looking around the check out lines and found nothing. I finally asked a cashier who said, “We don’t have any. We’re expecting some today.” I know that people steal shopping carts for transporting their purchases back to their homes, apartments, or to the bus stop, but I didn’t know the thieving had graduated from carts to baskets.
People complain about the cost of food, but shoplifting and borrowing shopping carts gets added into the cost of doing business. Borrowing is stealing. “The Food Marketing Institute reports that nearly 2 million shopping carts are stolen each year, translating into a per-store loss of $8,000 to $10,000 annually — and that’s only in the food industry.” Shoppers wouldn’t think of borrowing a car to get their purchases home, but these same people assume that as customers they are allowed to take baskets and carts with them.
Many shopping carts end up left blocks and miles away from where they were stolen. Retrieving is left to the grocery chain, where it is sometimes just less expensive and less time consuming to leave the carts where they were abandoned or dumped. The cost of baskets, and carts, plus shipment and delivery is passed along to consumers. We all pay for it. Please, people do not steal or borrow items that do not belong to you . . . in the end it will cost you if you do. Even worse, it will cost me. Darn you, basket rustlers.