The Transformative Impact of Smart Carts

March 22, 2024


Food retailers alone lose more than 2 million shopping carts every year. Whether stolen or blown away by the wind, shopping carts can block empty parking places and intersections as well as ditches and storm drains. Abandoned shopping carts aren’t just unsightly, however; they can even roll downhill and hit property or — worse yet — people, raising liability issues.

Traditional shopping carts also expose their stores to possible fines. A single Walmart location in a small Massachusetts town had to pay more than $20,000 to compensate city employees for rounding up and storing their stray carts. Indeed, CNN estimates that retailers pay tens of millions of dollars every year to replace carts that went missing. My team’s internal research suggests that the average mid-size U.S. retailer shells out $90,000 to $100,000 annually to cover the many expenses associated with shopping carts.

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