Back in 1969, a frustrated grocery store owner in Chicago named Anthony Dinolfo developed Return Your Carts to the Supermarket Month to raise awareness about the hassle and financial losses that occur when shopping carts are taken off-premises. Many stores try to avoid this issue by having cart attendants who scour parking lots and return the carts to the front of the store. Others, particularly those in urban areas, may have fences that prevent taking the cart more than a few feet from the store. Other stores use a monetary system, which includes unlocking carts with a quarter. Once the cart is returned, the quarter pops back out to be retrieved.
The average shopping cart costs around $125 dollars. Stores around the world report losses of more than $800 million dollars a year due to thefts of shopping carts.