The Wichita guide to returning a shopping cart

I know this is an image everybody has seen at least once in their lifetime.

returning a shopping cart

It’s called the stranded shopping cart that someone was too lazy to return. We’ve all seen it. It’s time to address it.

A friend recently told me that I’ve built this blog and now have a platform to do some good in this world with it. My goal is to help our city be courteous of others. With the holiday season upon us, that means there will be more shoppers out at the store. More shoppers also mean there will be more shopping carts used. More shopping carts used means more stranded shopping carts. More stranded shopping carts means more door dings. Let’s band together and help end this vicious cycle.

The National Retailers Association of America (NRAA) has stated that 41% of shopping carts go unreturned. Imagine how many door dings have been left due to those carts? Secondly, I totally made that stat up and don’t even know if the NRAA is a real. But what I do know is no cart should ever be left stranded.

Also, as a former Dillon’s cart pusher, this would make those employees jobs easier if they didn’t have to walk all over the parking lot grabbing carts from the ends of the Earth.

Regardless of the weather, your exhaustion level, kids, whatever, it’s not a hard thing to do. I did a couple of tests runs. It took me an average of  twelve seconds to return a shopping cart to its receptacle….. just twelve seconds and that’s with a bum ankle! There are probably instances and exceptions on why one person can’t return a cart, but most people don’t have an excuse. If I had to give people one reason why they should return a cart it’s simply to be courteous of others. We’re all lazy, I get it. Sometimes I’m too lazy to find the remote to change the channel but I’ll always spend the twelve seconds to return a shopping cart. I’ve had my car scratched multiple times and don’t want that to happen to others.

….and now I’m here to help you. The biggest problem I’m guessing why people don’t return carts to a receptacle are because they don’t know what it looks like. I’ve created this guide to help you be courteous and mindful of others. I used my own personal time to travel to the three most shopped-at stores to help you locate what their shopping cart receptacle looks like.

The first is Walmart. You can spot these by the blue signs that say thank you. The sign matches the handle on the cart. In most Walmart lots, these receptacles will be placed awkwardly and not straight.


Next up is Dillon’s. You can spot these by white signs with the Dillon’s logo on it; usually there’s also an ad on the sign. As you know at Dillon’s their shopping carts come in different sizes and some have the child-buggy attached to it. What’s nice about the receptacles is they fit all shopping carts! Yep, one size fits all!

Lastly you have Target. These receptacles can be spotted by the red arch with the shopping cart logo sign hanging from down below.

Now I’m not certain if everybody knows it but at each of the stores, the shopping cart receptacles are found in actual parking stalls. They are scattered throughout the parking lot to make sure the cart drop-offs are convenient for everyone.

Once you get to the receptacle, you push the cart to it and park your cart inside said receptacle. That’s all you have to do. There’s no check in process for the cart, once you return the cart, you’re welcome to return to your car and leave. It’s completely hassle-free!

Now that you have a guide to help you, let’s cover the main three tips we learned today. LOCATE. WALK. RETURN. You Locate the receptacle. Walk to receptacle. Return your cart in the receptacle. Once you complete those three steps, you earn additional points to make Santa’s nice list.

I hope this helps everybody as we enter another big shopping season.

Happy Holidays,

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3 thoughts on “The Wichita guide to returning a shopping cart”

  1. Wichita has 1,000,000 issues that should be focused on and prioritized to shopping carts left in a parking lot. When’s the last time a stray shopping cart caused death or harm? Or perhaps clouded all rationality of someone and caused them to vote for trump? Please find more impactful topics to cover if you truly want to build a better community.

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