Shopping Cart Loss and Theft – Prevent Loss at Your Store

Shopping carts are provided by a store for customer use. Customers use shopping carts as a convenient way to collect merchandise as they shop around the store. The customers collect the desired merchandise in their cart and continue to the check-out stand to pay for their goods. Once they have gone through the check out line, customers transport the paid merchandise from their shopping cart to their cars. Often times they do not bring their carts back to the appropriate destination, leaving them scattered throughout the parking lot, or even worse they are stolen! Lost shopping carts can add up to an eight to ten thousand dollar drain in your revenue each year. Lost or stolen shopping carts have become such a nuisance that over 200 cities around the United States have implemented ordinances requiring retailers to find ways to keep their carts from leaving their property. Fortunately there are a number of solutions to prevent shopping cart theft. Electronic systems such as locking wheels, the boot or brake shell, and alarm systems are effective in preventing shopping cart theft. Physical limitations such as security guards, vertical pole attachments, and magnetic strips can be effective in preventing shopping cart theft as well.

The most effective way to prevent people from stealing shopping carts is an electronic wheel locking system. This system works with a thin wire embedded below the surface of the perimeter of the stores parking lot. If the wheel is pushed beyond the perimeter it will automatically lock disabling the cart. The wheels can be unlocked by the touch of a button on a remote control.

Alternatively, the boot or braking shell is not inside the wheel but rather a covering. When the shopping cart is taken beyond the stores designated perimeter, the braking shell covers the wheel disabling it from rolling. One drawback to this method is that if any part of the boot breaks, the entire mechanism must be replaced. It is easy for dirt, snow, and other materials to get jammed in the boot and disabling it. Another downside to this method is rather than using a remote control to unlock the wheel like the electronic wheel locking system, one must bend down and unlock the boot manually in order for the cart to be of use again.

Motorized shopping carts are popular among the elderly or shoppers with disabilities. These carts tend to be extremely expensive and therefore highly desired by thieves! Losing just one motorized shopping cart can hit retailers hard financially. To prevent the loss of these assets, a wireless device attached to the back of the motorized cart preventing the cart from working when it reaches the designated invisible barrier. The cart can be reactivated with the touch of a button on the store’s remote control, or by pushing it back into the unlock field.

Another effective way to prevent shopping cart loss and theft is an alarm system. The alarm system has two components: an alarm, and a transmitter perimeter circuit that is installed at the entrances and exits of the store. The shopping cart has a warning signal and an alarm signal. Once the shopping cart crosses the warning line, the warning sound will go off. The alarm is deactivated once the cart is returned to the designated area. If the shopper chooses to ignore the warning signal and continues to cross the line, the shopping cart will sound a higher pitch and louder alarm. While this system may embarrass the customer it does not stop the cart from leaving the premises.

Security guards are people hired to protect property, assets, and people. Shoppers are less likely inclined to steal shopping carts if they know they are being watched. Security guards reduce shopping cart theft tremendously, however hiring additional personnel can become costly. In order for security guards to have a significant impact, one must be placed at each exit way of the parking lot to ensure no one leaves with a shopping cart.

A physical limitation that reduces shopping cart theft is the implementation of the vertical pole. This pole is attached to the shopping carts preventing the carts from leaving the store. The only downside to this method is the inconvenience it may have on customers who have large amounts of groceries or merchandise that they need to transport from the store to their car.

The last method to prevent shopping cart theft is the implementation of a magnetic strip embedded in the concrete of the perimeter of the shopping center. Each shopping cart has a locking device fitted to two wheels and as the cart approaches the magnetic strip, the wheels lock rendering it immovable.

Importance of Automotive Internet Marketing

If you are a business in the automotive industry and looking to increase sales and services creating a strong online presence is a must.SEO is becoming a very competitive arena in a lot of industries, making it harder for companies to compete for top search engine results on Google, Bing, Yahoo. The good news for the automotive industry is that only 5% of automotive repair service companies are actively marketing their website or services. I personally have seen a huge growth in automotive marketing online in California, but other areas of the United States have been a lot slower to adapt. So what does this mean for automotive repair shops across the United States? A huge opportunity for automotive repair shops to beat the competition through actively marketing their website through search engine optimization and making themselves more visible on business directories online where you can rate and review shops. The world has moved away from flipping through the thick Yellowpages Book to find local businesses (more useful as a paperweight) and has moved towards Google.com. Whether on the PC, Smartphone, or tablet.So whats the next step? Do a simple local test search online to see where your company ranks among the competition. (e.g. search “your town or surrounding towns” auto repair or more specific searches “your town” alignment repair, “your town” engine repair). After doing a few test searches how does your company rank? Top of the first page, second page, bottom of the third page, not visible at all? By doing this test you should be able to get a clear understanding where you rank locally online compared to the competition. If your company is at the top of the search results great, but do not get comfortable. Stay offensive and strengthen that position by reaching out to a SEO company or attending an SEO workshop. If your business is not ranked at the top, start planning. Reach out to a couple SEO consultative companies, compare pricing and packages, attend workshops, get your self listed in online directories, join social media websites, and have customers leave reviews on review websites. SEO Packages typically range anywhere from $300/month – $1500/month depending on the local competition and the amount of heavy lifting needed to be done to get your company to the top.Key Takeaway: If you are in the automotive repair industry and want to get ahead do your homework and start planning an effective online marketing strategy. You will be ahead of the marketing curve and it will have a direct impact on revenue.

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  • US Education Rankings: 9 Strategies For Raising Education Rankings Thru Increasing Education’s Value

    In researching this article, I noticed stats about economics and education. Yes, we know that the higher the education we have, the more money we make. This doesn’t address the VALUE OF EDUCATION TO THE STUDENT.

    Education must hold value for students, whether this be getting an education to get a high paying job, ranking first in our class, feeling the satisfaction of learning, enlightening ourselves, pleasing our families. Value is personal, and we all invest in what has value on our own terms.

    When we are young, especially, we need the guidance of our mentors, including educators, family, friends, society and media, any of which can lead us well or not. If we are taught that the most important thing is to spend 15 hours a day studying, we may believe it. If we are taught that education doesn’t matter because the salary per hour of slinging crack depends upon how much time we spend out of school, we still have a good chance of realizing that this is a bad lesson. If we are given a creative array of lessons that will affect how we value education, we have a better shot at building a foundation and understanding the positive nature of education for ourselves than if we are taught rote, unrelated facts.

    I recall a running debate I had with a friend about responsibility and teaching. Was it the teacher’s job to do whatever it took to impart the lesson to the student who didn’t understand it the first time along with the others, or was it the student’s responsibility to study to the ends of the earth to understand the lesson?

    I was raised in a progressive, nurturing household where learning was pleasurable, and I never felt fear in asking questions, in not understanding a lesson. I just said I needed help and got it. My opposing friend in this debate was raised by foreign parents. His father (by U.S. standards) oppressed him and brought fear to his heart that shook him should he not be first in the class. In this case, it looks like environment had a lot to do with our various sides.

    I believe teachers should be willing to morph their methods in such a way that the lesson is understood by each student, also creating an atmosphere where the student loves the knowledge, doesn’t fear failure and blossoms because of it. My opposing friend was sure that any student who could not understand the lesson was not trying hard enough and had on her/his shoulders the responsibility of figuring out the lesson alone. He saw this as the only mark of a true student. He also expected to be physically reprimanded.

    What I see is that the best learning comes out of cooperative education and out of creative learning environments where the lesson integrates with life lessons, builds social stature and touches upon current trends.

    Here are nine sample lessons that could fit into the technological and creative pace of our current world.

    1. Have students make individual videos or one group video showing a segment of history. This leaves the subject matter open and stimulates the imagination. An example of this is to film an ant walking up the building, the falling of a leaf in autumn from tree to ground or some group project that is more involved. If no equipment is available, students can act out the material and record it on paper. Or call a local law firm and ask them to donate or let you borrow a video camera.

    2. Take students on a photographic field trip. If there is no means for bus transportation, the field trip can be as far as around the building or on the school grounds. The theme can be about measurement, for example, if it is a math lesson. The photos would show the angles of bridges, the slope of a roof, the uprightness of a telephone pole, the angle of twigs in a bird’s nest. The photos would then be exhibited in a photo gallery where each student would get to invite parents or other meaningful adults. Inviting “others” insures there is a support system so that the event is not traumatic for students whose families don’t usually participate or do not exist. The presence of other significant adults, including other teachers, coaches, clergy, social workers, tutors, would allow for each student to be supported and for no one to feel alone. If there are no cameras available, a local camera store might be willing to provide a loan. Or Canon might participate with a loan or a gift to enhance the lives of your students who could pass on the cameras to every class in the school, if necessary.

    3. Create a social issue in the classroom that requires a judge and a jury, such as trying a thief who stole to feed her/his family. Have students act out the parts of each role. Have students take turns being “innocent” and “guilty,” judge and jury. Then, take a field trip to the courthouse or local magistrate. Arrange to sit in on a session or, structure prohibiting that, have the magistrate talk about justice and our American way.

    4a. Create a mock central market in the classroom where students buy and sell wares and practice their math skills. Have the money they use in this market be based upon tokens that they have earned through a Good Samaritan program in the classroom. Those who help another during the day get a token. The program develops citizenship, planning and math. Then, take the students out on a field trip and give them each a dollar that you get from petty cash or your pocket. No student money should be used. Only the dollar that you give the student. The mission: see who can bring back the most items for one dollar. Thus, we include budgeting as part of the lesson.

    4b. Create a mini stock exchange in the classroom. Use large beans to buy and sell shares. Have a professional trader come to explain basic concepts.

    5. Have each student write a poem that rhymes. Then call a local rock star or rap star to come in and turn the poem into a song that the whole class learns. Yes, the music teacher could lead this activity, but celebrity sells in business and education and invites the juices of creativity to flow in the classroom, instills confidence and will involve community celebrities in the betterment of education.

    6a. Have a drum circle in the classroom. Call a local drummer to come in and lead. Teach three to five messages from old drum communication. Talk about communication through drumming and have each student drum one message that you have taught during this lesson. Have the others interpret the message.

    6b. As a follow-up lesson, have a cell phone tech come in and talk about the method of cell tower transmission. Then talk about the differences in social communication between drumming and cell phones.

    7. Have each student think up an example of how we use math in the world. Exclude being able to go buy something in a store, online or on the phone. Call a local app maker to donate an app that has the class photo and an individual photo with each student’s idea as part of an app that pulls up. Then have the app maker talk about the skills s/he had to acquire to learn app making.

    8a. Pick a theme including success, education, happiness, for example. Have students create an abstract painting that represents this theme and have them present it. In-school project only, since some parents are not at home to help and some parents do the project for the student. Film the presentations as well as the creative process. Post the art on the classroom website. If there is no classroom website, call a local web person and ask if s/he will donate putting up (online) a page with the students’ presentations.

    8b. Go to a local museum or research the art at the museum online and find art that represents the particular theme to each individual person.

    9. Have a regular tea time once a week. This will develop unity of community. Call a local tea specialist to start you off with how to have tea and some of the history of tea. This quiet time will give the class a spirit of camaraderie while developing value for quiet reflection and experiencing its benefits.

    To summarize, these ideas are samples, for different grades, different social climates. The idea is to give school value to the student, to make the lessons relevant to the life of the student, so that we increase the number of students in school and US educational rankings. How many times do we slack off on a task because it is not pleasing to us? And, yet, we slave away at another task because we like it. I remember working hard for my 6th grade teacher because one of the ways he showed he cared was by letting us get the school piano and wheel it into the classroom on Friday afternoons. Everyone sang; I got to play the piano and sing. This added value to education for everyone.

    We even discussed the lyrics, which, I learned 12 years later, getting an M.A. in Music Therapy, had extreme importance in molding us. Which brings us to the next point: how do creative modules such as these fit into the present system? That is a discussion for the article titled Education 2.0: 5 Ways To Make Exceptional Lessons Of Yesterday The Educational Normal Of Today, soon to be published.

    The most exhilarating part of teaching comes when the student receives the knowledge. Most of us in the profession enjoy the creativity it takes to teach, motivate and inspire. This is the skill set that builds value in the student.

    Singing the education blues won’t work. Looking at charts of where we rank in the world education system can motivate but is not the answer: http://xrl.us/guardian2010educrank. We need in-road builders to make these types of lessons the norm, rather than special events. It is one thing to offer an isolated lesson such as the photography trip in number 2. above. It is quite another to build this structure into our current educational infrastructure. Onward, teachers. Now is the time.