The needler in the haystack.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Aldi has an idea, but would it work at other stores?


Sign explains the benefits of Aldi's cart policy.
I notice more and more Plainfielders shopping at Aldi's, the German-based supermarket that also owns the popular Trader Joe's chain, presumably because of the prices (about half what you pay in regular supermarkets) and the quality (fine by me, but I'm not known as a food snob -- though I will say it's the ONLY local outlet I have found for TRUE Lebanon bologna, a Pennsylvania Dutch treat I learned to love when in college).

But there is something nice about Aldi's parking lot, too.

You will never come out of the store to find your car door dinged by a shopping cart set adrift by someone who didn't want to return it to its parking stall.

Why?

Because you 'pay' a quarter to use the cart. Actually, the quarter goes in a slot which unlocks it from the daisy-chained carts in the cart stall.

When you're done shopping and putting your groceries in the car, you hook the cart back up in the cart stall and your quarter is automatically released.

Doesn't sound like much, but you never ever see a stray cart in the Aldi's parking lot.

Are you reading this, Stop & Shop?



    -- Dan Damon [follow]

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    6 comments:

    Bill Garrett said...

    I happened to speak to a woman yesterday at Aldi's. She was angry about paying the quarter. Said that the A&P was free. I explained to her that the deposit insured that the cart would be returned to the corral, and that because they didn't have to pay someone to push them in all day, it results, in part, for paying less than half what the A&P charges for things. She was happy to learn that she would also get her quarter back! Now, if the would only hire another check out person. (my only gripe..long lines at check out.)

    Anonymous said...

    Maybe if you weren't so involved in silly Plainfield politics, took ur head outta ur arse and left the outskirts of the City. You would realize that's these quater carts have been around for over 10 years and a norm in most other cities!

    Bob said...

    I love Aldi's for the good merchandise and prices. You are right about the parking lot, and they save money by not having to collect the carts.

    Anonymous said...

    And I presume that means in the winter the snow plows don't push the carts into a big pile along with the snow like they do at Stop and Shop!

    Anonymous said...

    Dan,
    Years ago, someone else used this same system (BJ's, Price Club or someone else) When I pulled into the lot I would always look for the abandoned cart that someone else was too lazy to care about the quarter. I took the quarter when I was done (and any others that I found abandoned). I like the system!

    Kitty said...

    Toms River Shop Rite has the quarter deal. Leave it to the seniors - they have slugs that fit in the cart lock. Don't make sense, you still have to get your slug out, but you don't have to search for a quarter