Store management of shopping trolleys

Shopping trolleys are highly valuable to retailers, so it’s in their interest to make sure they stay on their site or are collected from the surrounding area, in the most cost-effective method possible.

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Preventing trolleys leaving a site is always the preferred approach, although this is not always possible, for example where the customer chooses to take shopping offsite, to their house or car, for example. The difficulties presented in effectively managing the risk of abandoned trolleys will vary from store to store, so there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution.

Retailers should consider combining trolley management in their environmental policy and ensure that staff are aware of the policy and operations agreed. This can be helpful in responding to any concerns raised by customers, or incidents of abuse or neglect reported to the store.

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Enforcement authorities can expect retailers to review how they manage their shopping trolleys with the following expectations:

Assessing the risks – It would be helpful for retailers to have a system in place to regularly monitor trolley numbers to determine whether any are missing from their store. When a significant loss is identified, retailers should review their trolley management procedures to identify how this can be reduced. Risks and urgency of remedial action will be increased by a number of factors, for example, proximity to local watercourses or a high level of concerns / complaints from the local community.