The Random Act Of Kindness Aldi Is Encouraging Its Shoppers To Do

Aldi's Instagram recently shared a random act of kindness popular with customers: "Who else leaves their ALDI quarter for the next person? [hand raise emoji]" (via Instagram). Leaving a quarter behind allows the next customer to access a shopping cart without having to fish for change at the bottom of a purse or pocket, so this gesture shares its convenience with the next customer to grab that cart. The whole process of leaving a quarter behind can create a sort of pay-it-forward chain, much like you've seen at your local coffee place. 

"Never stop the quarter system! [hands in the air emoji]" shares one Aldi customer. Another cart user adds, "I try to or I give my shopping cart to someone walking towards the store and always refuse their quarter. I never know when I may need help [heart emoji]." One generous user even shared they made a monthly habit of this gesture: "Today I filled up all the carts with quarters at my Aldi in Hamilton, NJ. Try to do that 1x a month."

The entire idea is that a simple act of kindness, affordable to almost everyone, can really make a difference in someone's day. 

Refundable quarters save on Aldi costs

For those who are new to the Aldi model: you enter the store, go to the locked cart corral, and deposit a quarter. The quarter gives you use of your cart so you can shop as much as you like, and then you get the quarter back at the end of your trip. While this may seem awkward to those of us used to "free" shopping carts and other store models, there's a method to the madness. Renting carts allows Aldi to save money (via Reader's Digest). It turns out that there's a significant amount of money lost in shopping carts. Shopping carts left in parking lots can dent cars, leading to costly claims. Shopping carts can be stolen, and whether for need-based reasons or nuisance — it all adds up. Even at the best of times, shopping carts have to be rounded up by staff, and that staff costs money. 

"This 25 cent deposit ultimately saves our customers money because we don't have to hire extra staff to collect grocery carts," Aldi explains on their website. In fact, cart pusher is an entire job at many grocery and retail chains (via Zip Recruiter).

And while the quarter doesn't add a total cost to the Aldi consumer, who actually carries cash nowadays? Leaving the quarter behind makes this simple gesture of kindness even sweeter.