A number of Countdown supermarkets are facing a shopping basket shortage as shoppers continue to take off with the prized carrier.
West Auckland's Te Atatū is the latest to face a shortage with the store down to just four plastic shopping baskets, thanks to customers taking them for their own personal use outside the store.
There use to be more than 100 baskets at the store, now shoppers are struggling to even find one.
The lack of baskets have since caused issues for customers, and in particular for resident Ian McDonald who is wheelchair-bound and struggles do his shopping without the basket.
He explained a trolley is too hard to use when in his wheelchair and the lack of baskets has left him frustrated.
McDonald told Stuff there were a dozen shopping trolleys a couple of weeks ago, but now he's lucky to even find one.
"I asked the shop assistant where all the baskets had gone and they told me people were walking away with it," he told Stuff.
In a statement to the Herald, Countdown confirmed they've had a number of issues with baskets going missing in Te Atatū.
"All of our Countdown stores, including our Te Atatū store moved away from plastic
bags late last year and we're happy to say that 90 per cent of our customers are now either bringing their own bags or don't need a bag when they shop with us, which is great," a spokesperson told the Herald.
"We've had some issues with baskets going missing in our Te Atatū store but we hope this will settle down as people continue to adjust to the change.
"It's not unusual for baskets to go missing from time to time and our teams have processes in place to manage this.
"We'd of course encourage customers not to take baskets home - we have a range of reusable bag options in store.
"We have plans to order more baskets to ensure we have plenty available for our Te Atatū customers."
Unfortunately for Countdown and its customers, its Lynfield store was also the target of basket thieves when back in May more than 175 baskets went missing.
A staff member at the time revealed 175 baskets had been stolen.
A Herald employee experienced a similar issue with missing shopping baskets after visiting Fresh Choice in Glen Eden.
Initially, the store allowed customers to take groceries out to their car in store baskets after they were caught short without their own bags.
However, after a bunch of their shopping baskets started to disappear they banned people from taking them out of the store and into the carpark altogether.