Are Your Shopping Carts Locking Wheels? What to Do Next

Shopping cart wheels with no locks.

When your customers visit your store, they want a smooth, seamless shopping experience. They’re looking to browse your aisles with ease, find the products they’re seeking, and make their purchases quickly and efficiently. So imagine the frustration they may feel if your shopping cart wheels are locking up. If your highly valued customers can’t navigate your store with ease and push their carts full of items, they’ll likely not return to your store. On the other hand, you’ll want to ensure that your shopping carts are kept securely at your establishment and prevent theft. Let’s talk about all things related to wheel locking—including when you want this function and when you don’t. 

All About Shopping Carts

When you’re working with a supplier to secure carts for shopping with wheels at your establishment, you want to look for a few key elements. First, there’s the size of the cart; is it large enough to hold the types of items your store sells, while still compact enough for customers to maneuver around aisles? Is it durable enough to withstand the wear and tear that comes with heavy foot traffic in your store, plus all of the natural elements if your carts are stored outside? Is it light enough for customers to push around your establishment easily while still being sturdy enough to support the weight of your store’s wares, plus a child in a child seat? Is a metal wire cart or a plastic cart best for your business?

All of these factors about the cart’s basket should be taken into consideration. But there is something else to consider, too: the mobility of the cart, which originates in its wheels. Any shopping cart with wheels should be able to roll through your property with ease—but it should also contain anti-theft mechanisms that ensure carts stay on your property and nowhere else.

What to Know About Shopping Cart Wheels

What Are Shopping Cart Wheel Locks?

Simply put, a shopping cart wheel lock can help to prevent your carts from being stolen or wandering too far from your property. How do locking shopping cart wheels work? Electronic and magnetic systems are commonly used for this purpose. These security systems make use of an electronic wheel clamp (or boot) attached to the wheel of the cart. The parking lot of your retail store is then fitted with a thin wire, which locks the wheel clamp when a cart passes over it. Locked carts are subsequently unable to move until an employee unlocks them with a designated key.

Stores that utilize this wheel-locking security method often include painted lines to indicate to customers when they are nearing the boundary lines. While the system is not entirely foolproof, this method can be highly effective when it comes to theft prevention. But it’s often costly, so smaller retailers may find it to be an option out of their reach.

When Is Wheel Locking an Issue?

Not all wheel locking is for safety and security purposes. Sometimes, a shopping cart locking wheels is a symptom of a related—though not always easy to spot—issue. Most of these issues happen through wear and tear due to overuse. This is why it’s critical to stay abreast of the functionality of your shopping carts and ensure they don’t need repair or replacement. So, why do shopping carts wheels lock? Let’s look at a few common scenarios that result in this less-than-optimal outcome.

“Tugging” is when friction occurs between the caster and the wheel. In this scenario, shopping cart wheels can no longer move easily and fluidly, and they may begin to drag on the floor of the store. This is a frustrating situation for a valued customer who is used to a smooth shopping experience at your store—it can also increase floor maintenance costs. You should lubricate the casters and wheel parts as soon as possible to prevent these outcomes. 

Lack of mobility in your shopping carts’ wheels and casters can also come from overloading. This often occurs at furniture retailers or big box stores—establishments that involve customers loading heavy items into shopping carts and trolleys. As long as the shopping carts are durable, they should be able to withstand this weight. But that doesn’t mean that the wheels and casters will necessarily be able to. At some point, with too much weight in the basket, the wheels may become overloaded and unable to move.

Finally, there can often be issues with the swivel mechanisms on your shopping cart wheels. This issue could result in one of two scenarios: your shopping cart wheels swivel excessively, making for an unwieldy experience for your customers, or your cart’s wheels don’t swivel enough, making for a swivel offset that makes it nearly impossible to push the cart in one straight direction. All of these issues can be frustrating for shoppers and shop owners alike. In this case, your wheel casters may need replacing or tightening.

Good L Corp Has You Covered, Both With Security and Seamless Shopping

Besides doing the necessary upkeep of inspecting, repairing, and replacing your shopping carts as needed, you can also tackle these issues by working with a knowledgeable, trusted shopping cart supplier. Good L Corporation has been in the shopping cart industry for decades, supplying merchants across the United States with industry-leading shopping carts and baskets. We have worked with stores across the nation to provide security systems, including anti-theft wheel locking mechanisms, on our shopping carts. 

Good L Corporation comprises a team of highly knowledgeable subject matter experts who have the know-how to make the right shopping cart recommendations for you. And we can help you troubleshoot any issues you’re having with wheel locking, tugging, overloading, or swiveling. Our carts and baskets are durable to withstand years of wear and tear, and when it’s time for replacement, we can advise you on what route to take to best serve your business. 

If you’re ready to get your store outfitted with a new fleet of shopping carts or baskets—which will ship from our warehouses within 48 hours—contact our team today for a no-pressure sales quote!

Request a Quote

Get a boost to your impulse sales which ultimately leads to an overall improvement of your total sales. Don’t you want to increase sales? Of course you do!