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Stolen Trolleys ending up in waterways

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Did you know that trolleys are being stolen from local Whangaparaoa stores such as New World and Countdown by local shoppers, then being discarded in our green areas such as parks, fields, and marshlands? Maybe you’ve seen some yourself! Personally, I have seen over 8 trolleys abandoned in local ponds, front yards, and even being used in nearby streets, just in the past few weeks.

The reason this is happening can be broken down into two parts: people, and stores.

Firstly, some people are being disrespectful of the rules about where the trolleys are to be used. They disobey the rules and signs and take the trolleys outside of the area. They might do this for a variety of reasons, such as needing a way to transport their food back home, using it as an alternative for items (such as a washing basket) or for entertainment (throwing them in rivers, riding in them, etc).

Secondly, only high-risk stores have security measures set up. This is because of the cost of putting them in place. One of the methods that some Countdown stores use is a smart locking system. This means that the wheels of the trolley will lock if it is a certain distance from the store, rendering it useless.

However, most stores only have a few signs up to deter people from stealing the trolleys- much cheaper, but results in more trolleys being stolen.

When a trolley is stolen, the store must replace it. This can be quite costly when lots of trolleys go missing. Each small trolley costs around $150, and each large trolley costs around $205.

Stanmore Bay New World has lost around 20 trolleys in the last 12 months.
Countdown Whangaparaoa doesn’t track how many trolleys go missing, but since they haven’t had to order any more recently, we can assume it hasn’t been too many.

“We are very lucky at Stanmore Bay New World as we do not lose many trolleys compared to other areas. I used to manage a store further south and we would have to go out 3 times a day to pick up trolleys. We would pick up about 20 at a time and if we missed a pick-up those trolleys would be lost forever.” – Stanmore Bay New World Manager

Now, onto the important information – how can we help?

By reporting any missing trolleys that we see to our local stores!
It may seem a hard task to you, probably because you think some long phone calls are required. However, I’ve found easier methods for both New World and Countdown/Woolworths stores!

Apparently, Countdown’s help chatbot on their website can relay info about lost trolleys to staff. Just provide the postcode of the area, and a nearby store or building. Staff will then pick the trolley up within 24-28 hours.

For New World it’s a similar process, instead using a contact form to submit information. Their online delivery person will pick it up on their next delivery round.

Go to https://www.countdown.co.nz/about-us/contact-us to report a missing trolley to Countdown, or https://www.newworld.co.nz/who-we-are/contact-us/query-form?q=Lost%20trolley to report a missing trolley to New World.

Article written by Summer

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