Campaign to reinvent the shopping trolley


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Campaign to reinvent the shopping trolley

Posted 1 May 2009 14:21 by martin

Ever used a wheelie shopping bag?

woman-with-shoping-trolley photo: teaeff

Ever used a wheelie suitcase?


Why has it become socially acceptable for blokes (particularly Masters of the Universe businessmen) to use wheelie suitcases, but said blokes (and most women under a certain age) would not be seen dead walking their groceries home in a wheelie shopping bag?

Weird, isn't it?

We need a campaign to reinvent the shopping trolley wheelie bag thingy (in fact we could start with a new name – any ideas?).

“Think you can't walk home because you've got too much shopping to carry?  Think again!  With the new ShoppoLift you'll glide home in no time at all.”

So who could be the face of the campaign?  Wayne Rooney?  OK, maybe not.  Alan Sugar?  We're struggling.  Alan Titchmarsh?

Come on all you PR people out there.  We know you use  Are you up for the challenge?

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  1. Sam says:

    May 1st, 2009 at 5:40 pm (#)

    What you need is a DeWeNe HookandGo! I'm not affiliated but we bought one and even I have used it (Male 40 something)… we're starting a new fashion!

  2. Sam says:

    May 1st, 2009 at 5:41 pm (#)

    Oops… forgot the link

  3. helen says:

    May 3rd, 2009 at 8:05 pm (#)

    a granny trolly – i love mine. its a green way to do the shopping without pain.
    after a few trips i gave up feeling silly, i just look at the folks struggling with their bags and smile to myself with a thought of who is the silly one!!!

  4. Charlie says:

    May 6th, 2009 at 10:19 am (#)

    Most traditional style shopping trolleys aren't that easy to take around the store, if you also use the shop's trolley – so you have to risk leaving them outside the checkouts, which is far from ideal.

    Backpacks are a good halfway measure, I can get around 20 cans into mine, just make sure you buy kitchen roll at the same time, and put it in first to protect your back from the sharp edges!

    I've found the compartmentalised bottle-carrier bags sold by supermarkets are handy too, for far more than stocking up on plonk.

  5. Sven Cahling says:

    May 6th, 2009 at 11:46 pm (#)

    Jamie, I´ve carried on here:

  6. Danielle says:

    May 14th, 2009 at 3:10 pm (#)

    I have often looked enviously at grannies on the bus with their oh-so-practical trolleys. I think we need to get some good design going on with them. Something kitsch and retro but keep them really functional and hard-wearing. And maybe make them lock-able for when you leave them outside the shop. ..

  7. Wendy Payne says:

    May 14th, 2009 at 3:11 pm (#)

    I use one but I'm in my fifties. Couldn't manage without it when shopping locally. You can get some great ones from Lakeland and very reasonably priced (£20). Some companies have reinvented them in jazzy colours and designs but charge around £70 for them. Too much.

  8. Nat Delaney says:

    May 14th, 2009 at 3:13 pm (#)

    I use a Molly Trolley and it's in quite funky turquoise with a bell. Strangely enough, a few people have asked me if I am French when I go out with it.

  9. Chris says:

    May 14th, 2009 at 3:21 pm (#)

    The DeWeNe thing looks inspiring ~ modern, foldable and would avoid the 'parked outside and ready to be stolen' problem mentioned by Charlie. And no, I'm not on commission either! Chris

  10. Mike Lee says:

    May 14th, 2009 at 3:26 pm (#)

    Needs a redesign as well as a new name for a new image.
    Try designing with a more rigid but exoandable plastic shell or make to look like a rucksack on wheels but that could be carried on the shoulder or hands when unloaded. Give it some trendiness. Use a 'save plastic bags – use a load-lugger.' slogan of some sort. Get Givi the motorbike topbox designer to have a go. Grannies could ride their motorbike down to the supermarket, detach their Givi box and then 'go shooping' with their 'load lugger.' Make sure it has a small laptop holder so that grannies can have mobile inter net connection + mobile phone -opps sorry Blackberry hands free connection.



  11. Kitty Collins says:

    May 14th, 2009 at 3:26 pm (#)

    Well with the ageist stereotyping you reinforce with your choice of imagery it's not exactly rocket science to work out why our ageist society is warey of shopping trolleys. Personally I think “grannies” should have Boadicea trolleys with rotating blades to cut a swathe through the crowds to whom she is invisible. I can't wait.

  12. Liz says:

    May 14th, 2009 at 3:39 pm (#)

    I've used one since my kids got too big to need a buggy and I didn't have handlebars to put shopping bags on! My handle folds down and I hang the whole thing on the hook on the back of the supermarket trolleys…. The only thing is, I do get shoulder pain lugging it up the VERY high hill we live on…

  13. Emily says:

    May 14th, 2009 at 3:46 pm (#)

    What we need are fewer wheels on the pavement! I am 5'4″ and weigh about 49 kilos, so a determined man with his wheelie suitcase can knock me over, and sometimes he doesn't even know he has done it!! Pedestrians have to contend with trolleys, suitcases, bikes, skateboards, push chairs, dolly's push chair (!), mini scooters. Get some strong fabric bags, a backpack, and carry what you can carry – only. When I hear or see wheels coming, I freeze until the wheels have passed by!

  14. Andy Craig says:

    May 14th, 2009 at 3:52 pm (#)

    I am all for reinventing the shopping trolley. Then perhaps the lazy ones will not be able to say “I had to take my car….”
    However, what is more pertinent to me is the absurd wheelie suitcases.
    The bottom line is that if you cannot carry something, do not take it.
    People expect to take the kitchen sink with them these days when they travel. The most depressing sight is watching young people dragging wheeled bags, when they should be carrying them. It is no wonder that people have become fat and useless.
    Incredibly, one sees executives wheeling around lap-top bags!!! Are they morons or do they not realise how pathetic they look?
    Anyway that's my bit over with.
    Bon chance with with the shopping trolley crusade

  15. Jo says:

    May 14th, 2009 at 3:54 pm (#)

    I much prefer using a backpack – that means I can weave in and out of the busy pavements, and still have both hands free for extra shopping. The trolleys I've seen don't carry nearly enough!

  16. Katrina Marsh says:

    May 14th, 2009 at 4:04 pm (#)

    This campaign explains a lot – I noticed for the first time at least 3 boho yummy mummies last saturday with trendy looking trollies on the Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol – which is the coolest shopping street in the universe – which was the first place I saw a pair of crocs – a good 6 months before they were in the shops – so my advice is invest in trolleys now!

  17. Antony says:

    May 14th, 2009 at 4:14 pm (#)

    How about The Dragster or Sled Master…or devise it as a barrow to be strapped to upper trunk and pulled along, A la Rocky training montage…could be a new fitness apparatus like those Jogging Buggies for Babies and Infants….

  18. Dan says:

    May 14th, 2009 at 4:46 pm (#)

    Oh no, not those suitcases with silly little wheels! Please, no more of them unless you've a letter from your doctor, :).

    Their tiny wheels slow down the puller down, mean they can't turn properly, and bite at the ankles of anyone who's following them in a crowd.

  19. Alex says:

    May 14th, 2009 at 5:24 pm (#)

    Why are trolleys only used by the elderly? Anyone who can use a rucksack or bicycle realises these are far more practical.

  20. Una says:

    May 14th, 2009 at 6:45 pm (#)

    I was using my Mum's old shopping trolley when I was 21 and wasn't the slightest bit embarrassed. I could do a week's shopping and walk home with it. The only problem was the design. It had a bar at the bottom that would catch all the leaves and rubbish and drag it up the street behind me. I must have looked hilarious.

  21. Katherine Pitt says:

    May 15th, 2009 at 10:28 am (#)

    I asked my Mum for a shopping trolley for Christmas and she got me the trendiest she could find – black with a pink flower design. Initially I was teased a bit by a friend but when I took the trolley to Stokey Farmers Market I counted a least 6 other trolleys and she retracted her teasing! Makes such a difference. However I now sympathise with people with push chairs and wheelchairs when it comes to getting up and down kerbs and on and off buses!

  22. Jane says:

    May 15th, 2009 at 11:28 am (#)

    Unfortunately, suitcases on wheels and shopping trollies are the bane of my life as an urban walker. People often tend to drag them behind them or don't control them property and I seem to have permanently bruised ankles from trying to negotiate my way around the crazed wheelie things. Are they going left, are they going right? I know, surprise me! Obviously, it's not the trollies, it's the owners…
    Anyway, to redress the balance, why not try and get Janet Street Porter on board? She's vice-president of the Ramblers and obviously walking is important to her.

  23. Hilary Kidd says:

    May 17th, 2009 at 3:58 pm (#)

    We have a shopping trolley, several sizes of rucksacks and also 'bags for life' near the front door – to use as appropriate. I find the trolley useful if eg I'm buying tins of paint or bags of compost that would be too heavy in a rucksack. But laden shopping trolleys are quite difficult to get on and off buses and also take up room in the gangways. Buses now have space for buggies but not for shopping trollies! I find a biggish rucksack plus a large carrier bag a good combination for most food shopping.

    PS. I didn't like your photo of the elderly woman either!

  24. Sarah Freeman says:

    May 20th, 2009 at 10:28 pm (#)

    I am most definitely for such a campaign. It is clearly the case that once the car culture is finally on the out and people really feel very embarrassed about popping down to the shops with the car then trolleys will come into their own. Once out of town hypermarket shopping is no longer in vogue, then there will be a revolution of two wheels and no motors.

    A shoppping trolley is only associated with the elderly because they can no longer drive. I agree with your correspondent above that the image you have used of the lady with her trolley is rather ageist; so while it is true that it is not trendy to have a trolley I would say 3 cheers for the elderly who do take them out and keep themselves as healthy as possible that way.

    I have used a trolley for 6 years now, sometimes plus a rucksack and sometimes a bike instead. I really enjoy the variety to tell the truth. When I cycle I am quicker than anyone else (especially drivers!) but when I walk into town there is a lot to look at and enjoy as I go. So a trolley campaign could be associated with the pleasant off road back routes if you are wondering about how to market it.

    My trolley is a robust version with bigger than normal wheels and certainly a lot more stable than the wheelie suitcases. But I reckon someone could make a fortune researching trolleys and the new image.
    I look forward to hearing more.
    Sarah Freeman

  25. PB says:

    May 27th, 2009 at 9:57 am (#)

    How about The Dragster or Sled Master…or devise it as a barrow to be strapped to upper trunk and pulled along, A la Rocky training montage…could be a new fitness apparatus like those Jogging Buggies for Babies and Infants….

  26. Paul Tetlaw says:

    June 1st, 2009 at 1:36 pm (#)

    An everyday shopping trolley is just common sense. I was in Barcelona last year and they were a common sight for men as well as women. I saw a vast range of small shops and two terrific food markets right in the heart of the city – and nor a single supermarket.

    The Europeans understand much better how to look after their cities and communties than we Brits. We've followed the stupid US model and look where it has taken us – the supermarkets should be made to pay a large annual levy to help rejuvenate town and city centres – billions of pounds.

    Paul Tetlaw

  27. Beth Williams says:

    October 6th, 2009 at 3:40 pm (#)

    Turtle Trolleys are the perfect launching pad for the campaign, supporting a fantastic cause

    take a mosey…

  28. Georgie Harvey says:

    October 8th, 2009 at 4:14 pm (#)

    I'm 20 and I've just invested in a smart-looking black and white number from (the stripey one on the home page) after spending two weeks in Spain at a friend's house and seeing every other person shopping in town with one.
    Mine was delivered yesterday and is about to have its first maiden voyage. Hopefully it should make climbing the four flights of stairs with a week's worth of shopping to get to my flat in halls of residence alot easier. Plus I saw another girl with one earlier today, so hopefully if more people just bite the bullet, we can turn around this staid image and make it something not to be laughed at.

  29. Rikki says:

    November 4th, 2009 at 11:13 am (#)

    I have just returned from Scandanavia and loads of people had them there. Men and women. Young and old. I guess this is backed up by Sven's reply to your post.

    I think the problem is they look shit. I've never, ever seen one that isn't red or green “tartan” or looks like it's from anywhere other than the pound shop.

    However, even with a complete redesign, it would take a lot of marketing to make these popular. People already have their shopping habits, and if they're between 25 and 50, they probably drive to the out of town superstore, so have no need for a trolley.

    It's only people who rely on public transport who need these. Target students. They often have to buy lots of cheap, heavy food and shift it on the bus.

  30. Hal says:

    November 20th, 2009 at 10:54 pm (#)

    Ahh, so it's not just me. We've been through a few a we don't have a car, but they are dead ugly (even our black one). I often see people shopping with wheelie suitcases, such is the stigma attached to the poor trolley.
    Give this to the Starck team as seen on telly.

  31. Sarah G says:

    December 4th, 2009 at 11:49 am (#)

    I started using a trolley when I began to experience joint pains, and realised I was basing my shopping on how light or heavy the items were. Worrying about people judging me could have prevented me using a trolley, I'm someone who has quite a problem with worrying what others think of me! But the difference using a trolley has made to trips into town and the increased freedom I immediately experienced has meant that, in this case, I am completely indifferent to the opinions of others – and the first trolley I had was a poorly designed, tartan one! It has been liberating to be able to pick up whatever groceries are needed: bags of rice, fruit, potatoes; to browse markets for crockery, to choose whatever books to borrow or buy, knowing that I'll have no problem transporting them.

    The trolley I now use is from one of those cheap shops, but is so well designed that I regularly receive positive comments about it and enquiries about where to buy one.

    The comment about buying only as much as you can reasonably carry is a valid one, but when you have to think twice about buying basics or which books you can buy/borrow, then a set of wheels is much appreciated – the pull along sort not the sit down and drive kind!

  32. carey says:

    May 29th, 2010 at 9:45 pm (#)

    My trolley is a robust version with bigger than normal wheels
    says Sarah Freeman- this is important.

    Would have loved to see the design and where she got hers

    I have had about 5 go bust on me in the 10 years or so I've been using them. terrible for landfill – all that plastic and metal.

    some of them are so expensive – really not an option over £30 i would say.

    the campaign needs to take this in to consideration

    but so much easier than carrying shopping bags.

  33. Sharon says:

    June 23rd, 2010 at 8:38 pm (#)

    How about renaming the shopping trolly the shopping shifter sounds a bit more interesting

  34. Joyce says:

    January 22nd, 2011 at 7:31 pm (#)

    Ive used the Molly trolley for a number of years now (only £29 then), its the trendiest design I've seen around. Molly gets more compliments than I do! I think its the very large chunky wheels. Molly is simply and slickly designed with thick chunky handles. Unfortunately Debenhams dont sell them anymore. Does anyone know where I can get more? lots of admirers keep asking.

  35. PATRICIA GRANT says:

    August 6th, 2013 at 6:41 pm (#)


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