Why are there so many shopping carts in backyards in my neighborhood?
I went for a walk the other day and, due to the Minneapolis alleyway system, probably passed about seven or eight backyards. Of those, no less than three had shopping carts in their backyards.
About a year ago I went to the Target near us and, overloaded with probably totally unnecessary household items, took the shopping cart out to the car, or at least tried to. I pushed the cart into the parking lot and right when I reached the first lane of cars, the cart stopped rolling. It was a hot day and at first it felt like I had dragged the wheels through some hot sticky tar or something. I checked the wheels. No tar. I kept trying to move the cart and eventually ended up dragging it to my car. I couldn't possibly be bothered to haul it back to the cart corral, so I just left it in the parking lot, sort of out of the way.
As I pulled out, I realized that there were a lot of abandoned shopping carts strewn in the lanes between the cars. The carts didn't help this particular Target's image as a Targhetto.
This particular Target, it turns out, puts some sort of sensor in the wheels of their carts so that when it gets a certain distance from the store, the wheels get locked up. Unfortunately, that distance is approximately ten feet in front of the store.
I have been to many, many Targets in this area and none of the ones in the suburbs seem to have the same feature. In fact, I have seen some in the suburbs with abandoned shopping carts so far from the front door that they can't possible have any sort of sensor, unless the person who abandoned the cart was Hulk Hogan and he carried it. (Or perhaps Jessie "The Body/ The Mind" Ventura.)
Initially, I thought it was totally ridiculous discrimination that Target would put a sensor on their shopping carts in this particular neighborhood, which happens to be a little less than affluent. Having lived in this neighborhood for a few months now, I can sort of see why they do it here, I guess that maybe Target has a reason to fear cart thieves. None of the backyard carts are the bright red ones from Target.