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Wegmans to Use Unique Technology for Second Floor Access with Cart

How do you get a grocery cart up an escalator?

A cartalator in the Wegmans in Columbia, Maryland - Courtesy Wegmans
A cartalator in the Wegmans in Columbia, Maryland - Courtesy Wegmans
The Wegmans supermarket currently under construction at the 3rd Avenue project will have a unique feature to allow customers to move from the first to second floor. 

The 136,880 square foot store will have a second-floor parking and seating for the cafe on the second floor. There will be an escalator to help people move between the floors but it does beg the question: how will customers move their grocery cart from the first floor to the second if they happen to be parked on the second story? 

The answer is a device called a "cartalator," a type of conveyor belt that allows a grocery cart to ride up next to the shopper on the escalator.  

"you push your cart just like you're going up the escalator with it," said Store Manager Kevin Russell. "It keeps the basket level and it rides up next to you. When it gets to top the hook releases and you just grab it and go out to parking deck. It's very user friendly."

Russell said that along with parking on the second floor that is where most of the seating for the cafe will be located. In total the cafe will seat between 250 and 300 diners. Along with the groceries Wegmans will offer a wide variety of items for eat-in or take-out.  

"The cafe has a number of different choices," Russell said. "There will be a sub shop, freshly made sushi, a coffee shop and a place with pizza and wings. You will also see organic, vegetarian, Asian, Indian, and comfort food options. A vast amount of choices." 

Russell said that in other Wegmans locations people do come just for the prepared foods. 

"We're really a destination for not only grocery shopping but for our restaurant quality prepared foods," he said. 

The Burlington Wegmans will not be the first store to feature a cartalator. Currently two stores in Maryland feature the device. There are also other stores that have them as can be seen in this YouTube video with a caratalor at a Target

Click here to check out other stories on the 3rd Avenue project
J. Parker December 19, 2013 at 08:43 PM
Today was a nightmare on the Middlesex Tpk. nearest the Lexington end. A good suggestion would be for those working in the area to bring a lunch during the Christmas season rather than trying to get to one of the restaurants. For some reason, there were two policemen directing traffic in and out of Bed & Bath, while holding up everyone else in both directions on the Pike. It took a good twenty minutes to get from North St. to Wheeler Rd. Dah!

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