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Radio to stop Asda trolleys from walking

Daniel Thomas
Supermarket chain Asda is investing £2.4m in radio frequency technology designed to cut the number of trolleys being taken from stores.

A recent trial at six stores across the UK reduced trolley losses by about 75%.

Asda loses almost four out of five of its trolleys, which cost up to £100 each, every year. But the Cartronics system has cut this to less than one in 20, said Chris Woodcock, trolley contracts manager at Asda.

"Our new system will put an end to trolley traumas, keeping them available to shoppers in the store," Woodcock said.

Under the system, radio waves mark the store's boundary. When a trolley crosses the boundary, a signal is sent to a receiver on the trolley which causes a brake to be applied to the wheels, bringing it to a controlled stop.

The Cartronics system will minimise the cost of replacing trolleys lost from each store's fleet and reduce damage to the local environment, said Woodcock.

The new "techno-trolleys" will be rolled out to 37 stores by the end of 2002.

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