Center City markets dunk shopping carts in cleaning solutions via pulley

By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Grocery stores are doing all they can to sanitize checkout counters and shopping carts during the coronavirus crisis, as customers are constantly filtering in and out of stores.

But Rittenhouse Market is taking a simple sanitizing wipe to the next level.

The store set up a pulley system outside its doors at 18th and Spruce streets. Two workers hook up a shopping cart to it, and it is dipped into three large vats of different cleaning solutions in between customer use.

“There are 200 gallons per vat,” explained General Manager Phil Cantor. “We have a pulley system and we are able to dunk those down into a washing solution, rise them off, and then dip them again into a sanitizing solution before they air dry and we hand them back over to a customer to use.”

It’s certainly an unusual sight, and residents are taking note.

“A lot of people are stopping to look — especially early on, they had no idea what this contraption was we were putting together in front of the store,” Cantor said. “But it’s been great. They have been very happy — obviously, under the current circumstances — that we are making such efforts to keep our carts clean.”

South Square Market at 22nd and South streets is undergoing the same cleaning efforts. Both grocery stores have the same owner.

Hand baskets are also submerged into the solutions to protect customers. And they’re not stopping any time soon.

“We actually plan on continuing this until it's deemed not necessary by the powers that be,” Cantor added.