Shopping should always be a pleasant experience. Supermarkets and store companies strive to make the places where customers want to enjoy their shopping day pleasant, cute, clean and spacious. And the whole process should be quick, easy to complete and leave a feeling of satisfaction in people. Walmart is, in particular, one of the companies that cares the most about all this development, from when the trucks arrive with supplies until the customer leaves the parking lot.
But, Walmart shoppers are showing their outrage on social media after noticing that Walmart is charging a $1 fee to use their shopping carts. Wait, what?! Yes, as you read it. Customers have started to notice that the retailer installed a device for charging one buck to use the cart. With almost 950,000 views, Shawn’s TikTok video (@soulforgepodcast) has given something to talk about on social media. “Starting February 1st, Walmart will charge you a dollar to take out their carts,” warned Shawn.
Is Walmart Actually Charging to Use Their Shopping Carts?
There is a small (big) detail that TikTok users and Shawn’s followers need to know: this Walmart shopper lives in Canada, where things are a little different from the United States. And I don’t know why most people didn’t notice the fact that, in the USA, dollar coins are a rarity. However, in the neighboring northern country, these coins circulate regularly, so getting a buck to free up the shopping cart at Walmart is easy: you will always have one on hand.
Now, regarding the claim that Walmart started charging for the use of shopping carts, it should be clarified that it is not necessarily a charge. It is rather a policy to guarantee the return of the cart to the supermarket. It’s more of a withholding of that dollar than a charge. As long as you return the cart, your Canadian dollar will go back to your wallet.
For now, it is unknown if this policy will be widespread throughout Canada, and Walmart has not announced that it will be extended to the United States either. This practice has been seen in other chains that do operate in America: for example, at Aldi you have to deposit a quarter (25 cents) for the use of the cart, and this currency is returned to the customer when the cart is left back at the supermarket’s spot for this purpose. According to Aldi, this policy saves customers money because the retailer is not forced to hire more employees to pick up carts. “To unlock a cart, customers have to insert a quarter, and this deposit ensures shoppers return their cart to the corral to get their quarter back,” read Aldi’s website.
Is Walmart charging for their carts in the US or just Canada?
Walmart is not charging for its carts in the United States, but the practice is common in Walmart stores in Canada and parts of Europe.
Other Canadian Stores Charging $1 for the Shopping Carts
In the past, Walmart had already tried to charge for the use of the carts, a deposit of CAD$1, to guarantee that they are returned to the supermarket. It was back in 2017, but it generated a lot of criticism and the measure was quickly abandoned. Another store that introduced this measure years ago was Real Canadian Superstore. And yea, it also garnered a lot of anger from customers, and forced employees to have reusable coins that they provided to customers, in case they did not have a $1 coin available.
Some shopping centers that have it
1. Aventura Mall (Florida)
2. The Mall at Short Hills (New Jersey)
3. The Galleria (Texas)
4. Westfield Montgomery Mall (Maryland)
5. Water Tower Place (Illinois)
6. King of Prussia Mall (Pennsylvania)
7. NorthPark Center (Texas)
8. Miracle Mile Shops (Las Vegas)
9. South Coast Plaza (California)
10. The Forum Shops at Caesars (Las Vegas)
Loblaw also tried it, in a move that, according to a company spokesman, would help reduce costs related to handling the carts. It is usual in any supermarket that this matter is a chaos, with carts scattered around the mile-long parking lots. And you usually see employees walking around these concourses looking for them and accumulating them to take them back to the store.