Auto-Locking Shopping Carts- Whole Foods Venice

09/05/2009

On a recent grocery trip to Whole Foods for all the new apartment necessities I caught myself stopping short before making it to my car. Why you ask? Well, good question… I was dumbfounded as well. As I walked out of the store, strolling with the cart, I passed by a few policemen handling an angry couple’s outbursts and all of the sudden- WHAM. I ran into the cart as it screeched to a halt.

The cop looked at me, as I knelt down to inspect the faulty wheel, and said, “It’s locked.” He could tell I was confused and explained from afar- “There’s a wire around the perimeter that auto-locks the carts.”

Wheel locking mechanism

What? Seriously? And apparently it’s been around for a few years- at least. How did I not know of this previously?

Just as I was about to discount the cop’s outlandish comment, sure enough a Whole Foods employee walked over with a remote that gave my cart the ability to become mobile again.

Being that theft and homelessness is an overwhelming issue in the Venice and Santa Monica area, it’s smart for Whole Foods to invest in this kind of deterrent. I can’t help but wonder what the ROI is on an investment like this.