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Measures to curb loss of trolleys

It has become a very common site - streets filled with people pushing shopping trolleys, but with everything but shopping bags in the trolleys.

Often the trolleys are seen being used to transport wood, alcohol, scrap and other goods, in residential areas in Drakenstein.

Supermarket trolley losses in Paarl is an ongoing problem in the retail industry but effective trolley retrieval programmes and due care at store level minimises these losses considerably.

According to Shoprite, at store level trolley attendants are employed to round up trolleys from parking lots, taxi ranks and streets adjacent to the store at regular intervals throughout the trading day for return to the store.

“In major centres, the supermarket group also makes use of professional trolley retrieving companies that regularly round up trolleys abandoned in streets. These companies are more successful in this than the supermarkets, because their only focus is recycling trolleys,” says Shoprite’s media team.

This makes the retrieval services more affordable, as their services are syndicated between the supermarket chains. The trolleys are then assessed for damage and are either repaired or scrapped. Trolleys that are not damaged will be cleansed and returned to the store.

“Depending on the incidences of trolleys being removed from store premises, stores will make individual arrangements that may include that basket trolleys are not to leave the store, or that trolleys may not be taken out to car parks.”

Shoprite insists that the convenience of customers is always top of mind, but necessary measures will be implemented to curb losses exceeding the norm by prohibiting their removal from a store or shopping centre.

Trolleys are stored in a secure area where possible, depending on the layout of the store and its location. The trolleys can also be locked up in cages inside the store premises or secured within the mall, or in the store itself.

The supermarket group has a responsibility to curtail unnecessary operational expenses as these costs may become inflationary. As the Shoprite Group is proud of its position of low price leader in the country, trolley losses is an important focus point in the group.

Currently, both steel and plastic trolleys are still in use. Trolley costs differ, depending on the type of trolley and the material it is made up of, but on average it costs around R1 000 per trolley.

Certain areas in the country show higher trends towards trolley losses. To report any suspicious activity contact the Customer Care Line toll-free number (when using a landline) on 0800 01 07 09.

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