The Evolution of Shopping Cart


Today’s shopping carts are constantly evolving to keep pace with the changing needs of the retail industry.

Since Sylvan Goldman, a self-service grocer, invented the shopping cart in 1937, the number of carts in the approximately 100,000 U.S. grocery stores has grown to an average of 200 to 250.

The estimated lifespan of most shopping carts is around four to six years. But, they can last longer than you thought if taken care of properly. A good preventive maintenance program can extend the life of the shopping cart up to eight years. If you see any damage after using the carts for 12 to 18 months, it is best to have them repaired right away to avoid costly repair.

Sophistication‘s Evolution

Although plastic carts are still around, many grocery owners prefer a heavy duty steel shopping cart. Goldman’s first prototype was made from a folding chair and two-wire hand baskets, but since then, shopping carts have evolved into a wide variety of options, and the technology involved in their production has become ever more complex.

Plastic basket carts were introduced in the 1980s, sealed wheel bearings were introduced in the 1950s and 1960s, non-marking rubber wheels were introduced in the 1970s, and ecoat/powder coating finishes were introduced in the 1990s in the United States. One company added a protective coating known as Tech-Seal. This helps extend the cart’s lifespan and is eco-friendly.

Following the zinc phosphate coating, a cathodic primer is applied to the product’s entire surface. A Teflon and polyester topcoat ensures resistance to water, humidity, salt, UV rays, and extreme ambient temperatures and is designed to improve corrosion resistance, particularly in difficult-to-reach areas and joints.

New Concept in Design

The new design is embedded with medical-grade micro silver materials. Micro silver continues to regenerate its antimicrobial properties because the baskets are fluidized bed nylon and the plastic parts are HDPE (high-density polypropylene). Cleaning your cart twice a day is the equivalent.

Manufacturers of shopping carts are focusing on the convenience of using the trolley and continue to evolve to make sure customers of every store will have a comfortable and smooth shopping experience.

To keep shopping carts clean, safe, and in good working order, most stores are allot budget for ongoing maintenance. This will help the retailer save thousands of dollars from repairs and replacement.

Child Safety Features

According to a study conducted by a shopping cart company, over 20,000 children five years and below are injured by trolleys each year. If not taken seriously, the number may increase. Manufacturers have seen children standing up and climbing out of the grocery carts. This has led to the design and creation of a seat belt on the shopping cart. Some had a child seat to keep the children sitting as their parents’ shop.

The Future of Shopping Carts

For added security, the nestable steel frame has no sides or bottom, but it does hold removable plastic baskets that give customers more options while shopping, protect their purchases, and raise awareness of the retailer’s brand. When not in use, a swing-up tray in a dual-child seat serves as a play surface, and a hole holds a cup of coffee or a bouquet of flowers for safekeeping.

The cart’s steerable back wheels are one of its most distinctive — and patentable — features. The wheels can be turned left or right with a simple sideways effort for added stability and familiarity. The wheels on the cart can be straightened by pushing it forward.


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