Supermart chain, NTUC FairPrice launches new initiative in attempt to resolve its long-standing problem of trolleys being removed by customers without returning by placing enforcement officers at the store's exit.
The move entitled, ‘The Trolley Enforcement Project was launched just yesterday, Friday (2 September 2016), and NTUC FairPrice expects it to discourage shoppers from wheeling trolleys away from the stores.
Two trolley enforcement officers will be stationed at the store's exit to educate shoppers on returning trolleys and they will be on shift at shopping time.
"We have decided to pilot this new trolley initiative at Jurong Point Shopping Mall to complement ongoing public education efforts to encourage responsible trolley use," said Mr Seah.
Jurong Point Shopping Mall experienced the highest occurrence cases of trolley abandonment; from around the area of the mall, nearly 200 supermarket trolleys are retrieved daily.
Compared to five years ago, the lost of supermarket chain trolleys has increased about 20 percent, with about 1,000 trolleys lost last year.
Mr Seah said, FairPrice spends over S$150,000 yearly on repairing, replacing and retrieving unreturned trolleys.
As a support of the project, FairPrice has also partnered the Singapore Kindness Movement and the Frontier Community Club to involve students to spread the message of responsible trolley use.
About 15 students from Jurong West Secondary School will distribute fliers to shoppers as well as residents living in the area.
FairPrice has also put stickers on the trolleys to inform users that trolleys are the property of FairPrice and the supermarket can report the people who wheel them out from the mall to the police.
In previous years, several methods had been used by FairPrice to overcome the ongoing problem of abandoned shopping trolleys. Among them were exchanging identification cards, coin-lock system, and perimeter fencing
"But these had limited success in addressing the issue, shoppers always found a way to defeat any security system," said Mr Seah.
Mr Seah hopes that the new initiative will comply the supermarket's efforts to tackle the problem of shopping trolleys abandonment in Singapore.
"We are always trying new solutions, finding new solutions. We think this is a step forward," he said.
"This is quite a drastic change from the earlier initiatives that we have taken. But we believe that having spoken to the community and the grassroots, they are all supportive, let's do something about it," Mr Seah concluded.
Earlier in 2013, NTUC FairPrice posted in its Facebook page, “Have you spotted any missing trolley idling in public recently?”
The Facebook post sought public assistance in locating its lost trolleys through its mobile app, “Provide us with the location and image via the ‘Report Missing Trolley’ feature under the Feedback section of My FairPrice+ App.”
In its bid to attract members of the public to download the app, NTUC FairPrice also offered offers on its app, “Also share with us any other feedback you may have. There is a lot more happening on the app, download it at http://bit.ly/myFPplus,”