Shopping Cart Etiquette Sparks Conversations Among Readers

Joe Sullivan overheard a winter visitor from South Dakota to The Home Depot: “Imagine returning your cart to the stand or store in 20 degree weather like at home. It’s a joy to return my cart here in Arizona.

Now he returns his carts, not to the corral but to the store.

Dozens of readers responded when I asked if what we do with our shopping carts says a lot about who we are.

Barbara Philipps almost never returns her cart, but she takes a cart from the parking lot to the store. “Do I get points for this?” she wrote.

JA Hostetler grabs a cart in the parking lot to save himself. “I don’t think anyone will risk damaging their car by hitting me and the cart,” Hostetler wrote.

Abandoned carts are Steve McDermott’s pet peeve, dating back to when he worked at a grocer and collected them.

He and his wife cycle in Europe where stores charge for the use of carts. London shoppers pay to unlock the carts. They get their money back when they return it.

“Needless to say,” McDermott wrote, “you don’t see too many carts strewn around the parking lot.”

While living in Nashville, Tennessee, Mike McKee read a newspaper article about the damage caused by out-of-control carts in the hill town. He thought it was funny, until a runaway cart almost knocked him out.

Store employees intervened, asking not to be identified. They noted that the more rude customers weren’t returning the carts either. Customers who use handicapped parking spaces often return theirs.

Giving up carts does not provide job security, as some claim. They have plenty to do.

Until Kayleen Hunsaker had knee replacement surgery, it hurt to walk that extra distance.

“I’ve always said that what you do in private, when no one is watching, is what determines your character,” she wrote, “but I don’t think I should judge anyone either. , because I have absolutely no idea what is going on in their lives.

Contact Karina Bland at [email protected] Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @KarinaBland. Sign up for her newsletter at

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