Shopping Cart Day on June 4 calls for a celebration of the baskets on wheels we use to journey through the aisles in a supermarket. The inventor of shopping carts wanted to increase the time customers spent in a supermarket in order to maximize the overall profitability rates by expanding the medium to temporarily carry items in store. The initial designs included baskets and carriage capacity factors. Many other points related to push-pull ease, wheel rotation, and material heaviness also had to be considered. In the starting days, shopping carts did not catch on as many males found the idea too ‘effeminate’ for them, while many females believed the shopping cart would be too similar to pushing a baby carriage.
History of Shopping Cart Day
Shopping Cart Day on June 4 celebrates the invention of the efficient shopping cart, which has been a huge success in making shopping a more convenient experience. The shopping cart was made out of necessity to increase the profitability of a supermarket. Supermarkets started becoming commonplace in the 1920s but people did not start using shopping carts until the late 1930s. Instead, customers had to carry around wire baskets that would become too heavy after a bit of shopping. This resulted in a limited amount of sales for the supermarkets. Seeing this trend, Sylvan Goldman, an American businessman and the owner of the Humpty Dumpty supermarket chain in Oklahoma, came up with the idea of creating a shopping cart.
Goldman was inspired by a folding chair. He placed a wire basket on the folding chair, wheeling it around his office to see its efficacy. Realizing that he may be on to something, Goldman enlisted the help of his employee who was also a mechanic, Fred Young. The pair worked on the design before the final product was invented in 1937. It was a metal frame holding two wire baskets, and Goldman called it the folding basket carriers. However, it would be another few years before the shopping cart really took off as the customers of the time believed that it was either too effeminate or too bothersome. Ever the master of solutions, Goldman hired attractive male and female models to use the carts in his store and, before long, the general public started using the carts too. Over the next few decades, the shopping cart design would go through several changes. Some of the designs included a baby seat while others had a foldable rear that would allow for more storage capacity and space-saving.
Shopping Cart Day timeline
Sylvan Goldman, the owner of the Humpty Dumpty supermarket chain, invents the first shopping cart, calling it the folding basket carrier.
To save space, Orla Watson invents a ‘nesting’ cart by adding a swinging rear door to the shopping cart.
Goldman adds a child seat to his shopping carts, solving many customers' concerns about pushing a pram and a cart at the same time.
Chaotic Moon Labs invent a driverless shopping cart for indoor use, and it is called ‘Project Sk8’.
Shopping Cart Day FAQs
When is Shopping Cart Day?
Shopping Cart Day takes place on June 4 every year.
What is the correct term for a shopping cart?
There is no correct term for a shopping cart as the name differs based on where you are. In America, it is called a shopping cart, but in Britain, it is referred to as a trolley.
When did shopping carts become popular?
Shopping carts became popular in 1940, all thanks to peer pressure. Goldman hired saleswomen to offer shopping carts to incoming customers at the entrance. When they would refuse to take a cart, the saleswomen would ask them the reason as everyone else in the supermarket was using it. The ‘everyone else’ she was referring to were hired models who pretended to shop. In the end, the reluctant customers would be convinced to take the carts.
How To Celebrate Shopping Cart Day
Use a shopping cart
Visit a supermarket with your shopping list to make good use of a shopping cart. You will come to appreciate the work that went into creating a shopping cart for a customer’s ease. The ample amount of space allows you to put all your items around without the worry of physically carrying a heavy load.
Appreciate the mechanics
Everything, at the core of it, operates on a complex network of factors, and a shopping cart is no different. Goldman and Young worked tirelessly to come up with a great design that would not only work in the favor of their customers but also the businessmen involved. This history makes for interesting reading and expanding your knowledge on how stuff’s made.
Skip the cart
Yes, we are telling you to skip using a shopping cart on Shopping Cart Day but do hear us out. They say you only come to fully appreciate something when you no longer have it. So try doing your shopping sans the cart and see for yourself how helpful a shopping cart really is. Share your experience with others to make them more aware of it too.
5 Facts About Shopping That Will Blow Your Mind
First customer complaint is 4,000 years old
The first customer service complaint was in Mesopotamia 4,000 years ago when a customer named Nanni complained about being sold inferior copper ingots.
Divorce papers sold through vending machines
During the late 1800s, you could purchase divorce papers through a vending machine for $2.50 in Utah.
Wear high heels for less spending
A study at Brigham Young University stated that if you didn’t want to spend too much money while shopping, you should do so while wearing high heels.
More malls than schools in America
There are more shopping malls in America than there are schools.
Most Americans can’t cover emergencies
63% of Americans do not have enough savings to even cover a mere $500 emergency situation.
Why We Love Shopping Cart Day
It’s a celebration of shopping carts
Shopping carts have come a long way since their invention and that is saying something, considering they aren’t even a century old yet. Many have benefited from them, especially in terms of time and energy, due to their efficiency and easy use.
It’s a celebration of shopping
Shopping is retail therapy, yes. But, at the same time, the day also reminds us to be mindful of where we spend our money and how we spend it. While splurging every now and then is great, it is always good to have savings for a rainy day.
It’s a celebration of globalization
Shopping carts started from a city in America, but today they can be found in most other countries around the world. Globalization has expanded our horizons by bringing us together in the way we use common things in our daily lives, no matter which part of the world we come from.
Shopping Cart Day dates