Is It Better to Repair or Replace Your Shopping Carts?

New shopping cart in a grocery aisle.

Shopping carts are an essential part of any retail business, especially supermarkets and department stores. When they are damaged or worn out, the store owner is presented with a choice: to repair or replace them. Both options come with their unique advantages and drawbacks. It’s essential to weigh these carefully, as the wrong decision can lead to unnecessary expenses, lost time, damage to the store’s reputation, or an insufficient number of available carts for shoppers. So, how often are shopping carts replaced? And when can you as a store owner get away with repairs instead? Read on to find out.

Should I Repair or Replace My Shopping Carts?

To Repair or Replace: That Is the Question

Repairing a shopping cart might seem like the most logical choice at first. After all, shopping cart repair is usually less expensive than buying new carts. It’s also a more sustainable choice, as it reduces the waste that comes from throwing away old carts. However, repairs can be time-consuming and may not always fix the problem completely, leading to further issues down the line.

On the other hand, replacing shopping carts with new ones can provide a boost to the store’s image and ensure all carts are in perfect working condition. But taking this route comes with a higher cost, and there could be availability issues with new cart suppliers. It’s a decision that needs careful consideration. With that in mind, let’s delve deeper into the factors that can influence this choice.

Repairing vs. Replacing Shopping Carts

Cost of Repairing or Replacing Shopping Carts

When it comes to cost, repairing shopping carts is generally cheaper than buying new ones. Especially when the damage is minor, a quick repair can restore the cart to a functional state at a fraction of the cost of a replacement. Furthermore, if the store has a maintenance team, it could save money on labor costs.

However, continuous repairs can add up over time, and the cost of shopping cart replacement parts may eventually exceed the cost of a new cart. Some damages are so common that even after repair, they keep reoccurring. Furthermore, the cost of parts and labor could rise unexpectedly, making the repair more costly than initially estimated.

The upfront cost of replacing shopping carts is higher than repairing them. However, it could be more cost-effective in the long run. For example, recurring shopping cart dent repair costs could really add up if your store sees a lot of foot traffic (which naturally will lead to wear and tear). New carts are less likely to require repairs, saving your store money on maintenance costs. Plus, the latest cart models often come with more efficient designs and materials that last longer, providing better value for money.


Repairs usually take time. The cart must be removed from circulation, the damage assessed, shopping cart replacement wheels or other parts ordered if necessary, and then the actual repair needs to be carried out. This process could take days or even weeks, especially if the necessary parts are not immediately available. During this time, your store will have fewer carts available for customers.

Another consideration is the time needed for recurring repairs. If a cart is not fixed properly the first time, or if it has a chronic issue, it could be out of service repeatedly, causing inconvenience to your business and your shoppers.

In contrast, replacing shopping carts is a quicker process. Once the decision to replace has been made and the order placed, it’s simply a matter of waiting for the new carts to arrive and putting them into service. There’s no need for the time-consuming process of assessing damage, ordering parts, and carrying out repairs. However, if the supplier has a backlog, the delivery could be delayed, leaving the store short of carts for a while.

Your Reputation

Are grocery stores responsible for shopping cart damage? Typically, yes. Unless some very unusual circumstances took place, it’s rare that the customer will be liable for things like dents, squeaky or busted wheels, or damage to the cart’s basket or handles. 

Now, consider that the state of your store’s shopping carts can significantly impact its reputation. Customers may associate broken or shoddy carts with a lack of care or professionalism. Constant repairs might not fully address these issues, leaving visible signs of wear and tear that could be off-putting to customers. Also, if customers regularly encounter faulty carts, they may form a negative opinion about the store, impacting reputation as well. There’s also the risk of a customer getting injured by a poorly repaired cart, which could lead to legal issues and negative publicity.

On the flip side, brand-new shopping carts can enhance the store’s image. They demonstrate a commitment to providing customers with a smooth, enjoyable shopping experience. However, if the replacement carts are of poor quality or badly designed, this could backfire. The store might be perceived as prioritizing cost savings over customer comfort and safety.

Cart Availability

The availability of carts in the store is crucial for customer experience and operational efficiency. Having to constantly repair carts can reduce the number of available carts, especially during busy periods, causing inconvenience to customers and potentially affecting sales.

Furthermore, if repairs take longer than expected, or if multiple carts need repairs at the same time, your store may struggle to provide enough carts for all its customers. Even if temporary replacements are brought in, these may not be up to the store’s usual standards, leading to customer dissatisfaction.

Replacing shopping carts, on the other hand, can guarantee a steady supply of high-quality carts. However, your store is at the mercy of the supplier’s schedule. If the supplier is out of stock or the delivery is delayed, you may face a cart shortage. To mitigate this risk, you could keep a few spare carts on hand or ensure you have a reliable supplier who can deliver on time.

Good L Corp Is Your Partner for Shopping Cart Repair or Replacement

Good L Corporation has proudly served American-made products to clients across the United States for over 30 years. From our premium shopping carts to our handheld baskets, we offer solutions for your customers in a variety of sizes, materials, and customization options. 

You’ll not only enjoy our high-quality products but our fast shipping on your fleet or carts or baskets, along with top-notch customer service. Contact us today for a no-pressure sales quote.

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