Friday, February 09, 2007

Stealing Shopping Carts in HomePlus

The shopping mecca of Korea...HomePlus. This place never ceases to amaze me. It has four floors, it's own food court and almost everything you could possible imagine a store might carry.

The grocery items are on the basement level so magnetized ramps take me and my shopping cart from one level to the next. The shopping cart easily glides on to the moving escalator and its wheels slide into the grooves. The magnet activates and the cart is completely immobile.

The shopping carts are safe guarded at the front of the store by an attendant. Each cart is chained together and requires a 100 Won coin deposit to be released.

I don't personally think that a 100 Won coin is a big deterrent from stealing a shopping cart. Anybody who really wanted a shopping cart (and who would?) would probably be willing to lay down the 100 Won coin worth approximately 10 cents US. And if they are only selling shopping carts for 10 cents, then why is the other stuff so expensive?

Actually, I can somewhat understand the motivation to steal a shopping cart. We once picked one up from a ShopKo parking lot and took it on a 400 mile road trip in the back of the truck. After driving 400 miles we said to each other 'what are we going to do with a shopping cart?' and then returned it the next day.

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