Shopping-cart theft is apparently becoming a news-worthy issue in Chengdu, with supermarkets claiming to lose "three or four" shopping carts per month to lazy customers who don't want to carry their groceries home.
From Chengdu QQ:
"There was a shopping cart downstairs from my apartment. I just couldn't resist it." Mr. Peng lives on Yuyu Lu in Qingyang District. Last night he returned home at a late hour and spotted a supermarket shopping cart in his apartment complex. But he didn't know how to deal with it. "Should I return it? Or should I make a child's bed out of it? Or should I sell it on Taobao?" Thus Mr. Peng decided to turn to the Internet, posting to a forum to ask for others' consultation.
Curious, the reporter decided to interview the city's large-scale supermarkets and found out that a shopping cart is worth around RMB800, and on average, every month each supermarket loses three or four of them.
How do these shopping carts appear in the residential complexes? According to a supermarket employee, the shopping carts are usually pushed away by customers. The shopping carts have been turned into baby's beds or used for personal shopping at the vegetable markets.
The reporter headed to the Shuang Qiaozi Carrefour and saw two female customers pushing a cart dozens of meters away from the supermarket, toward the bus station. The security guard called after them but they simply ignored him and kept walking. The security guard had no choice but to run after them all the way to the bus station. There, the women took their purchases out of the cart and pushed the cart out onto the sidewalk.
The security guard explained that since shopping-cart disappearance is becoming an increasing problem, management has instructed security to keep an extra close watch on the carts. The guard said he often sees women pushing the carts inside residential areas, and inside the cart will be a sleeping baby.
A Wal-Mart representative said that each month the store loses around four carts and that a cart can be sold as scrap metal. The security guard there explained that customers who live near the shopping center frequently use the carts to push their purchases home. And with adamant customers, there is no way to argue; all the guard can do is follow the customer to his or her home and then bring the cart back.
Every morning at 8, two SM guards will pay a visit to the nearby residential and office areas and reap their harvest. "Usually every day we can find three or four. The most we found was 10 carts," said one of the guards.
But the situation has improved since they've assigned two guards to the specific task of defending against shopping-cart theft. "Before, customers would strut out of the parking lot with a cart because nobody was watching. But now since there are people watching we lose a lot fewer carts."
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