SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- In Oregon, the deposit on beverages is an incentive to return a can or bottle,
Now the Save A Lot in Springfield that same philosophy has been applied to a new quarter deposit cart system.
"A customer just needs a quarter,” said Save A Lot district manager Janice Patterson. “It's kind of like a key, and you slide it into the little slot and it releases the cart, and then you can go about your shopping business."
Patterson said the new quarter carts are designed with the customers in mind—to keep prices low and for convenience.
“So the customers are guaranteed to have a cart when they come into shop, especially here in Oregon it’s a nice thing because of all the rain,” said Patterson.
The quarter carts are kept chained together under a covered portion in front of the store. Placing a single quarter in the slot releases the lock and the customer can take the cart into the store. When returned and locked back into place, the quarter is then released to the customer.
For the last two weeks Patterson said the store has placed “quarter cart ambassadors,” employees of Save A Lot, in the front of the store to help customers understand the new system.
“It’s brand new for customers,” said Patterson. “But what I’ve seen is that once they’re familiar with it and once they realize it’s a deposit and not a charge, they’ve been absolutely wonderful and accepting,”
But customers at the store told KVAL News they are not buying into the store’s argument that the system was designed to benefit them.
“I don’t have time to be messing around with this,” said a male Save A Lot customer as he struggled to get his quarter back from one of the new carts.
“Like right now, I have no change in my pocket and neither does he and we have to go get in the store, break a dollar, come back out,” said longtime Springfield Save A Lot shopper Debbie Jennings. “That’s very aggravating.”
Patterson said corporate Save A Lot is in the process of integrating the quarter carts at all their stores nationwide.