Insider reveals secret weapon against thieves: Aldi hides function at every entrance

Millions of Aldi customers have already walked over it without noticing its actual function: a carpet that was placed inconspicuously at the entrance to many branches and at first glance only catches dirt. But the Aldi carpet is the secret weapon with a surprising function. We explain to you what’s behind it.

Aldi carpet with a secret function

The gray carpet at Aldi has a secret function. The floor covering consists of grooves. These can unlock the shopping cart’s immobilizer if it has been activated. As soon as the customer drives his car over the surface, the immobilizer is released.

Aldi had already implemented the immobilizer in its shopping trolleys around 15 years ago. The wheels lock as soon as a customer leaves the branch parking lot. The discounter wants to protect itself against theft. Aldi relies on a sophisticated system.

Magnetic strips activate immobilizer on shopping trolley

There are a number of magnetic strips right on the street border between the Aldi site and the sidewalk. When customers roll over these lanes in their car, the immobilizer is activated.

“In the parking lot or in Aldi’s underground car park, you can roll the shopping cart as normal,” an insider told us. Basically, the expert explains: “At Aldi, the shopping cart must not be carried outside the property.”

Aldi carpet can unlock immobilizer

However, as soon as customers leave the site, the closure begins. The shopping cart can then only be pushed further with great difficulty.

“Customers sometimes have to lift the shopping cart and carry it on,” says the Aldi connoisseur. In individual cases, Aldi visitors simply leave the shopping trolley where it is or dutifully bring it back – including an immobilizer.

“It can happen that other customers get hold of this problematic shopping cart.” In such a case, the carpet can help.

The small magnetic grooves unlock the lock. “If that doesn’t help either, customers can go to the cash register. There, employees can easily unlock the trolley.”

How much does a shopping cart actually cost?

CHIP learned: On average, discounters and supermarkets pay between 40 and 150 euros for a shopping cart.

A good four euros per shopping cart are due for cleaning and maintenance, as the Wanzl company from Leipheim explains to CHIP. The family business sells various tools for wholesalers and retailers, including for the maintenance and cleaning of shopping trolleys.

“Of course, different factors such as the type of cleaning, number, journey and duration can influence the price,” says one employee.

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