A Sydney-based tech company that developed world-first technology to track shopping trolley movements and unlock them with a QR code is expanding into Asian markets to help retailers save hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The Trolley Data Management Network (TDMN) has signed an agreement with tech company GETT Technologies to allow retailers in Singapore to implement the Aussie tech.
The Asian country is tackling the abandoned shopping trolley problem which costs companies a fortune each year.
Singapore’s largest grocery retailer, FairPrice, last year spent more than $150,000 on trolley replacement, repairs and manpower required for the retrieval of over 1000 trolleys across more than 90 stores. In just five years there has been a 20 per cent increase in lost trolleys.
The sMart Lock System works by allowing customers to unlock trolleys without coins and leave a deposit via an app, which is refunded to them once their trolley is returned and locked.
Trolleys left abandoned self-report their GPS location back to the retailer, with the technology keeping track of their every move to provide an accurate location.
The technology, developed over six years, is currently used at a number of Harris Farm supermarkets and has had retailers in the UK looking at its use.
TDMN founder and chief executive Domenic Ammendolia said the issue in Singapore was so serious, one major retailer wanted to call the police and start arresting people who didn’t return trolleys.
He said GETT Technologies, which signed as a distributor, had started to present to the major retailers in Singapore who expressed interest in the tech.
“With our technology, it puts the onus back on to the customer to return the shopping trolley to get their deposit back,” Mr Ammendolia said.
“Within Singapore, there is a strong feeling we’ll be (involved) in a trial by the end of the calendar year.”
He said the company had also been in contact with different retailers from other parts of the world.
GETT Technologies founder Toh Hong Tat said he hoped to see some of Singapore’s largest supermarket chains adopting the trolley management solution.
“Perhaps we can see an end to abandoned trolley problem in the near future,” he said.