The phrase, “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb,” certainly rings true, but it might be more accurate to state that spring weather as a whole is often unpredictable and dynamic. A chilly, windy, rainy day in April or May might quickly give way to warmer temperatures and sunshine. Whatever the case, your store’s shopping carts must be built to endure the varying conditions surrounding them. Failing to protect these assets from environmental threats will force you to purchase new shopping carts much more frequently than would otherwise be necessary, which can take a major blow to your bottom line. So, the more rigorous your cart maintenance routine (during spring and every season), the better off your business will be.
How to Maintain Your Shopping Carts in Spring
Understand How Spring Conditions Can Damage Your Carts
Spring weather differs depending on your region and the given year, but it can generally be characterized by heavy rainfall, thunderstorms, fluctuating temperatures, high winds, and a fair amount of sunshine. As the season of renewal, spring also sees the return of flora and fauna, filling the air with pollen and enhancing the earth with animal life. Regardless of your personal feelings toward spring weather, it’s important to note the various ways this time of year can wreak havoc on your location’s shopping carts.
Excessive moisture from rain, for instance, can cause your carts to prematurely rust — you might think this is only the case for steel/wire carts, but plastic shopping carts have metal components as well. Additionally, rapid changes in temperature can cause different cart components to expand and contract, which can damage their paint job and create cracks. Powerful winds also pose a threat to your fleet — while neither metal nor plastic carts will easily erode due to high winds, lighter carts with loose wheels can be pushed around by these forces and end up leaving your parking lot (potentially rolling into the street where they become a serious traffic hazard). And lastly, excessive sunlight can lead to discoloration and potentially even melt certain plastic components if temperatures are high enough.
Once you grasp the different threats posed by variable spring conditions, you can begin to act on protecting and maintaining your supply of shopping carts all season long.
Invest in Heavy Duty Shopping Carts from the Outset
If you want to ensure the ongoing strength and functionality of your shopping carts, it pays to purchase durable carts from the very beginning. Sure, buying cheaper carts will save you money upfront, but you’ll end up spending more time and resources maintaining, repairing, and/or replacing these flimsy vessels in the long run. When purchasing new carts for your business, work with manufacturers that use quality materials and processes for all of their products, and look for perks like rust-resistant finishes and heavy-duty wheel bearings. The better-built your carts are, the better-suited they’ll be to withstand all environmental conditions.
Shelter Your Shopping Carts
No matter how sturdy your shopping carts may be, you still need to take good care of them year-round. One of the best and lowest-effort ways to preserve your fleet of carts is to install shopping cart corrals in your parking lot and vestibule/entryway. These gates come in a variety of lengths, widths, and heights, and can be customized to suit the dimensions of your carts. Cart corrals benefit your business in several ways. First, they provide a secure location for customers to drop off carts after using them or pick one up after landing in your lot. Enclosing your carts this way also means that they won’t roll away, even if winds pick up. Investing in covered shopping cart corrals for your parking lot will also shield your carts from rain, sunlight, bird droppings, and other environmental threats. Simply put, sheltering and storing your carts in both external covered corrals and interior corrals will keep environmental threats at bay and help ensure that your fleet remains exactly where it is.
Clean Your Carts Regularly
Implementing cart corrals will limit the degree to which the weather affects your carts, but they won’t seal them from harm completely. In order to minimize the damaging effects of moisture and general wear and tear, you must clean your entire fleet on a routine basis. Power washing your carts several times a year will blast away debris that might be contributing to rust and other issues. If nothing else, keeping your carts clean sends a positive message to your customers, encouraging them to continue shopping at your store.
Address Damages Immediately
No matter the season, it’s crucial to frequently inspect your carts for damage. Catching issues early on allows repairs to be made much more easily. And if a cart or component cannot be fixed, you will at least be able to remove it from your stock so customers don’t encounter it. Partnering up with a reliable manufacturer or cart repair specialists can facilitate this process. They will have the parts, equipment, and other resources you need to repair or replace any carts that need it.
If you’re looking to buy new carts in preparation from spring and/or seeking ways to protect your fleet from spring weather, Good L Corporation delivers innovative shopping cart and basket solutions for retailers on a global scale. Good L Corp can configure the right carryall strategy to boost your retail business from a fleet of new custom carts to launch your store opening to replacement baskets that supplement your existing shop supply. Let’s get started! Contact us today for a no-pressure sales quote.