SCARBOROUGH, Maine -- Hannaford Bros. here has begun testing a system that locks the wheels of its shopping carts automatically if they are taken from its parking lots, according to Brett Osterfeld, a spokesman for the maker of the system.
The technology, from Gatekeeper Systems, Irvine, Calif., is being used in four Hannaford stores. It uses an underground antenna along the perimeter of the lot that transmits a low-frequency radio signal to a locking device within the wheels of the carts.
The system's cost ranges from about $8,000 to $25,000 per location, depending on the size of the store and the number of carts. The Hannaford installations are "at the high end of that range," Osterfeld said. Hannaford Bros. did not return calls requesting comment.
Gatekeeper has installed about 60 of its systems in Kroger parking lots and about 30 at Target stores, said Osterfeld, adding that Pathmark and Victory Supermarkets are also customers. The company has also begun installing a few systems in Shaw's parking lots.