LETTER – Kamloops seems to be facing a shortage of shopping carts

(Image: John Noakes)

Our City seems to be facing a “cart-less” situation.

The talk that is buzzing around a local grocery store goes something like this: “Where are all the carts? How can we do our grocery shopping in your store?”

Does anyone remember the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown? The shelves were empty in the section that normally stocked toilet paper. Hoarding had stripped the available rolls from existence. Limits were put on how many packages of toilet paper which could be purchased at one time.

Fast forward to Pension Day, February 24, 2023. Some of the frail folks who had come to the local grocery store to buy their supplies of food & household items were faced with having to do it without a wheeled cart to push around the store. I saw one poor lady who was trying her best to carry a plastic shopping basket and load it with as many things as she could carry.

See also: Finding a shopping cart at stores is getting to be a challenge

Mid day on Sunday February 26, I took this photo of an outside storage area for shopping carts. Where there used to be several carts there at any given time during the day, there was only one. Inside the store, there were perhaps 6 or 8 available not counting the few that were in use by customers doing their shopping.

The standard answer being given to shoppers who ask “where are all the shopping carts?” is that, for the most part, they have been borrowed on a permanent basis. Some adventuresome folks might use the word “stolen” but most of us don’t like the implication of such a word. The financial loss to this one particular grocery store amounts to several thousands of dollars.

Instead of some of the things like advising the Mayor how many people it would take to push him out of office or silly talk about concentration camps, could the challenge be put to one willing member of City council to have a listen to this community issue and perhaps help come up with a viable solution to address the “borrowing of carts on a permanent basis” or seniors having to face physical hardship trying to do a simple task like putting groceries on their tables?

Thanks from a pensioner who has a camera and time on his hands.


About Mel Rothenburger (9489 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on LETTER – Kamloops seems to be facing a shortage of shopping carts

  1. If you go to Independent on the north shore, even though they keep the carts inside now, they have a bit of technology working for them: Its a rangefinder that trips if the cart goes too far from the store … and a wheel locks up and the thing wont push anymore.

    One would think that other stores would look up a few tech solutions like this. That said, maybe if the police recognized that someone in possession of a cart is in fact in possession of stolen property … the issue may not be so bad.

  2. Hmmm
    Someone once suggested looking behind the TRU residences. Never heard if that worked.
    I did call a store one day when I saw 4 carts on grass verge below the Starbucks by Columbia and McGill.
    Who knew there is a company that goes around collecting them.
    I do know of 3 that are from shops that no longer open that are – as one of my young family members described “permanently borrowed”.
    They are used daily.
    Meanwhile if you see carts hanging out in our community somewhere perhaps take a minute to call a store and they can get someone to come and get it.

  3. Dave Monsees // February 28, 2023 at 8:36 AM // Reply

    We need to follow a few of the “travelling carts” and see where they have been dumped into the river, or trashed at the local land fill. When you find one, you will likely find them all.

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