Monday's report ("Supermarkets still plagued by missing trolleys") said supermarkets are losing quite a number of shopping trolleys, as shoppers use them to wheel their heavy purchases home.
The solution lies in addressing the larger social issues.
In the past, housewives could shop at nearby provision shops. Public transport then was also less crowded.
Nowadays, provision shops have been ousted by supermarket chains, which are usually located quite a distance from homes.
More women are also working now, and not everyone has a car or maid to carry the items back.
Also, buses and trains are far more crowded than in the past, especially after work or on weekends, when most families do their grocery shopping.
The problem of missing shopping trolleys can only worsen. But there are solutions.
First, shopping hours can be extended. It is good to see some supermarkets operating round the clock, allowing families to avoid the peak-hour rush.
Second, supermarkets can open branches at HDB void decks, selling only essential items and daily produce. Shoppers can then get these items in smaller quantities without requiring a trolley.
Third, supermarkets can offer free delivery services, especially after working hours.
In tandem with these measures, there should be more public education, so people are aware that taking trolleys home is socially unacceptable.
People in Singapore live hectic lives, and supermarket chains need to adapt to this new paradigm and cater to working families.
Loon Seng Chee
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