Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket Month – February 2023

Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket Month takes place in February each year. This is an event to raise awareness about the loss that supermarkets face due to the careless abandonment of shopping carts. Back in the year 1969, a grocer called Anthony Dinolfo created this event after having several customers that would forget to return the shopping carts. He said that this incurred a loss of over $100 every day. In the present, the loss would amount to millions of dollars. Use this month as an opportunity to remind yourself and everyone around you about the importance of returning your shopping carts.

History of Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket Month

Back in 1936, there were no shopping carts as we know them today. Shoppers had a small wooden or wire basket that was given to them to carry as they explored the market. The problem with them was that these baskets got very heavy, and shoppers would cut their shopping short and proceed to the checkout to get rid of the weight. In order to make them shop for longer, Sylvan Goldman tried to innovate a more user-friendly shopping cart. He made it so that the shopper could take two baskets and put them on a moveable frame.

By 1940, a few years after Goldman’s cart was introduced, shopping carts started to become popular in all supermarkets and stores. Stores were trying to accommodate their large structure by widening aisle space and making bigger checkout counters. The Goldman’s cart was modified further by other people as well. In 1947, Orla Watson modified the moveable frame design and made the baskets permanently attached to the moving cart. Unlike Goldman’s design that had detachable baskets, this design ensured that the entire cart was a single contraption. This design became very popular with shoppers.

In the 1950s, another modification was done to the shopping cart, and this innovation brought it the closest to its present form. Instead of having two baskets, the shopping cart included just one big basket. Within the big basket, there were small holders for drinks, a baby seat, a handle to push it, and better wheels. This design was beneficial not just for customers, but also for the checkout counter workers.

Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket Month timeline

1936
The First Shopping Cart

Sylvan Goldman invents the first shopping cart to make customers shop for longer.

1940
Shopping Carts Become Popular

Stores start accommodating shopping carts by widening aisle space and making bigger checkout counters.

1947
The Design is Modified

Orla Watson modifies Goldman’s moveable frame design and makes the baskets permanently attached to the moving cart.

1950s
The Most Beneficial Design for All

From the old two basket design, the shopping cart becomes just one big basket and proves to be beneficial for customers and workers alike.

2016
A Cart for Children and the Disabled

Drew Long creates a seat that makes shopping more accessible for parents with children, special needs shoppers, and the elderly.

Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket Month FAQs

Should you return the shopping cart?

Returning a shopping cart is a test of self-governing behavior. Most people know that returning the cart is easy and should be done.

Why do people return shopping carts to the corral?

In research done, the reason lies with morality, civility, and economics. Many believe that returning the shopping cart or not is indicative of their character.

How many carts do grocery stores lose a year?

The average loss per year is 100 carts. These cost about $175 each. Most are found behind apartment blocks and in ditches.

How to Observe Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket Month

  1. Return your shopping carts

    The easiest way to celebrate this event is to be mindful and remember to return your shopping carts to the supermarket. It is the right thing to do.

  2. Raise awareness

    Go the extra mile and spread awareness about this month on social media. Make sure to remind people around you to return their shopping carts.

  3. Volunteer to return shopping carts

    Another great way to celebrate this month is to volunteer at your local supermarket and offer to return the stray shopping carts back to them. It would be great for exercise, and you'll be doing a good deed!

5 Interesting Facts About Shopping Carts

  1. Motor-driven shopping arts

    The supermarket chain, Whole Foods, is trying to bring in motor-driven shopping carts that don't require humans to push them.

  2. A Christmas tree made of shopping carts

    An artist called Anthony Schmitt made a 33-foot Christmas tree using 86 shopping carts at Edgemar Mall in Santa Monica.

  3. A prevention program for hopping cart abuse

    Like the programs for child and animal abuse, there is also a prevention program for shopping carts called the Center for the Prevention of Shopping Cart Abuse (C.P.S.C.A.).

  4. Shopping cart-related injuries

    Around 23,500 children face shopping cart injuries every year due to falling from the cart.

  5. There are shopping cart races

    Like the Formula 1 races, shopping cart races are held in Chicago every year — the proceeds are donated to the local food bank.

Why Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket Month is Important

  1. Shopping carts are expensive

    Shopping carts cost a lot of money and are precious resources to the supermarket. It is very important that customers return them in order to prevent financial loss and rising prices.

  2. It is about being responsible

    Shopping carts help us shop comfortably. It doesn't cost us anything to return the carts to their rightful place.

  3. It is a goodwill gesture

    Returning shopping carts to the supermarket is a mark of good character. It shows that we care about our surroundings and the services we use.

Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket Month dates

YearDateDay
2022February 1Tuesday
2023February 1Wednesday
2024February 1Thursday
2025February 1Saturday
2026February 1Sunday
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