It turns out they’re made a little closer to home than you might think!
Most of them are home grown right here on the Gold Coast, which makes sense – a lot of annoying things come out of the Gold Coast, and trolleys sure can be annoying.
They clutter our canals, scratch our cars when left in the wrong place, get stuck on escalators when you’re in a hurry, and turn up on random street corners for no apparent reason.
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Plus, they must be the bane of every supermarket’s existence, as they’re a necessary yet very costly evil. Woolies and Coles have rows of them lined up for the taking when you enter their stores, whereas Aldi, those clever so and sos, make you pay for the convenience of grocery storage.
(The coins are only required to initially release the trolley – your money is refunded once the trolley is returned – so you’re not out of pocket per se. But their system is supremely frustrating when you’re shopping with no cash only a credit card… I digress.)
One Perth comedian has hacked his way around this method using nothing more than a chocolate milk button to replace the gold coin. Genius.
But as I browsed the racks of trolleys waiting to greet me and my fellow shoppers at Woolies over the weekend, it got me thinking about the number of lone trolleys that litter our Gold Coast streets, the cost to our retailers and their origin story.
It’s guesstimated that between all of the Australian supermarket chains, $50 million is spent annually on simply maintaining and collecting trolleys. That’s not purchasing any new ones – it’s simply keeping track of and maintaining their existing stockpile!
That cost is escalating, as the multinationals must stay ahead of the game to ensure customers don’t experience “trolley rage” from wonky wheels or child seats that don’t work.
Supermarkets are aware of how important trolleys are to their business, so that’s why the majority of the steel on wheels you grab are in tip-top working condition.
They roughly cost between $80 and $130 each (I remember hearing claims they cost between $600 to $1000 each, but this is not the case) and as I said earlier, the majority of them originate on the Gold Coast!
A GC company called QHDC produce between 120,000 and 150,000 shopping carts every year for supply to our major retailers along with stores around the world. If our tourism sector ever falls over, it’s nice to know the Coast has another industry to fall back on!
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