Church & Market Safeway strikes buying carts inside after 160 carts

The Church and Market Safeway (2200 Market St.) has moved all of its shopping carts into the store after 160 shopping carts were stolen in the past few weeks.

Several Safeway shoppers recently reported that all shopping carts were gone and that they had to use hand baskets.

“Incredibly, there were no shopping carts when I went to Market / Church Safeway,” wrote Scott S. of Upper Market on a Facebook group in the Duboce Triangle Neighborhood. “I asked for one and was told all the carts were stolen.”

“They had a shipment of 160 carts last week and they were all picked up,” added Scott S. “What use is it to have security if you can’t prevent someone with a shopping cart from leaving the property.”

Shopping carts are no longer available outside of the Castro Safeway. | Photo: Christopher V./Hoodline

“In the past few weeks there have been no shopping carts and hardly any carrying baskets,” wrote George C. on Nextdoor. “I asked about it a few weeks ago and I was told by staff that shoplifters would just pick them up between 1am and 2am.”

Scott S. tells Hoodline that as a disabled person he cannot carry food. “The absence of shopping carts may be in violation of the American With Disabilities Act (ADA).”

On a recent visit to the store, Scott S. said that a Safeway employee was able to find a stray shopping cart for him, but all other customers had to use hand baskets to carry their purchases. “As I pushed the shopping cart through the store, I could swear I got looks from people asking, ‘How did you get a shopping cart?'” Said Scott S.

“The service agent told me that as the COVID situation improved, all of the homeless people have been kicked out of the hotels they were in,” explained Scott S. “Now they need a way to move their belongings.”

Safeway spokeswoman Wendy Gutshall confirmed that the shopping carts were stolen.

Shopping carts with bars attached are now only available in stores. | Photo: Christopher V./Hoodline

“Shopping cart disappearances, like other retailers, are an ongoing challenge,” Gutshall said. “We are still looking for solutions to address additional shopping carts and send them to the Castro Safeway Store.”

The Hoodline tipster Christopher V. tells Hoodline that when you visit the grocery store today, carts were only available in stores. “They have someone to watch over them and they can’t leave the store,” he said.

Gutshall confirmed that shopping carts are now only in the store. “We recently started experimenting with carts with bars to keep the carts in the store,” Gutshall said. “Customers can ask for help at the checkout to have an employee bring the groceries to their car.”

Hoodline readers will recall that this is not the first time Safeway has changed its business policy. In 2017, the Church and Market Safeway ceased operating 24 hours, but six months later the store returned to 24 hour service.

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