Coles Supermarket cannot subdue a Goulburn real estate agent on the war path over abandoned shopping trolleys.
Angella Storrier has waged a Facebook war against Coles, an anchor tenant in Goulburn Plaza. The prominent shopping centre which often stands in a sea of stray trolleys.
This is despite Mrs Storrier calling Coles out on broken pledges to fix the problem. She has enlisted Goulburn Mulwaree Council, which has impounded hundreds of them.
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Mrs Storrier followed up friends’ suggestions to go directly to Coles Facebook site.
“Hi Angella, thanks for getting in touch,” the corporate giant replied. “We’re concerned to see such significant a volume of trolleys have been abandoned around Coles Goulburn,” the supermarket wrote on its social media site.
“We’ve shared this directly with the store and regional managers at Goulburn in order to have these problems addressed.”
Mrs Storrier was having none of it. She fired back in a fresh post.
“Are they trying to say that the local and regional managers have not informed them of my discussions with the local manager? And, what about the ongoing negotiations that Warwick Bennett, our council general manager, has had with them? Including the impounding of hundreds of their trolleys and the subsequent release of 200 to Coles upon the payment of fees? They don’t know?”
Goulburn is undergoing a renaissance, helped by an influx of Canberra and Sydney people buying real estate, and a daily commuter service between the two cities.
The Wollondilly River, which has flowed for years under the radar through Goulburn, has been cleared to make way for a new walking trail, main street footpaths have been replaced with clean new surfaces and multi-million dollar plans have been adopted to renovate and re-use the historic town hall in Auburn Street.
But trolleys are tarnishing efforts to beautify the historic town. Dozens have been left in car parks, around park benches, down alleys collecting garbage, and many kilometres from the supermarket.
“Where do I start?,” Mrs Storrier posted after counting 135 trolleys on Saturday afternoon “The Auburn Street (main street) block fronting Goulburn Square was just plain disgraceful. Trolleys everywhere. Almost blocking the pavement totally, and more and more people added to the trolleys as I watched,” Mrs Storrier said.
Her Facebook campaign has spilled over into Canberra, where followers have suggested the trolleys are so cheap supermarkets abandon them rather than paying a fine to have them released from impoundment.
Brisbane City Council threatened huge fines, according to one Facebook post, and retailers responded by fitting proximity locks to each trolley. Once it reaches the edge of a retail precinct the wheels lock.
Coles, which earned revenue of $32 billion in 2016, says on its website it will retrieve abandoned trolleys within 24 hours of them being reported.
This is not good enough for Mrs Storrier, who says her campaign will end only when all trolleys are fitted with a $2 deposit device.