A Home Depot store in Emeryville has run into a shopping cart shortage of late, leaving customers and store staff frustrated.
The store says the carts started disappearing when nearby homeless camps sprouted up. Several Home Depot carts indeed were seen around the neighborhood. Some say the cart snatching’s a symptom of the region’s housing crisis.
"If I get to the point where we really can’t find a shopping cart, I think we’ve crossed some kind of threshold we shouldn’t have crossed," shopper Mike Hudson said.
Customers have had to battle over whatever carts are left.
"One day, I was like, I had a cart, and I had two people arguing with me over the cart," customer Aquis Bryant said. "I got in my car and left, and they were still arguing over the cart."
Home Depot said they have more carts on order and are looking at ways to keep them from being stolen. In the meantime, customers say it’s costing them time and money.
"It takes about an hour to get everything you need at Home Depot," Bryant said. "So when you have to search for a cart, it’s adding extra time when you could be working on your project."
Shopper Ethel Williams-Holmes added: "You expect a cart. And when you want a cart and can’t find a cart, it’s very disappointing."