Shopping cart
Overview
 
A shopping cart is a cart
Cart
A cart is a vehicle designed for transport, using two wheels and normally pulled by one or a pair of draught animals. A handcart is pulled or pushed by one or more people...

 supplied by a shop, especially supermarket
Supermarket
A supermarket, a form of grocery store, is a self-service store offering a wide variety of food and household merchandise, organized into departments...

s, for use by customers inside the shop for transport of merchandise to the check-out counter during shopping
Shopping
Shopping is the examining of goods or services from retailers with the intent to purchase at that time. Shopping is an activity of selection and/or purchase. In some contexts it is considered a leisure activity as well as an economic one....

. Customers can then also use the cart to transport their purchased goods to their cars.

In some places, customers are allowed to leave the carts in the parking lot
Parking lot
A parking lot , also known as car lot, is a cleared area that is intended for parking vehicles. Usually, the term refers to a dedicated area that has been provided with a durable or semi-durable surface....

, and store personnel will return the carts to the storage area.
Encyclopedia
A shopping cart is a cart
Cart
A cart is a vehicle designed for transport, using two wheels and normally pulled by one or a pair of draught animals. A handcart is pulled or pushed by one or more people...

 supplied by a shop, especially supermarket
Supermarket
A supermarket, a form of grocery store, is a self-service store offering a wide variety of food and household merchandise, organized into departments...

s, for use by customers inside the shop for transport of merchandise to the check-out counter during shopping
Shopping
Shopping is the examining of goods or services from retailers with the intent to purchase at that time. Shopping is an activity of selection and/or purchase. In some contexts it is considered a leisure activity as well as an economic one....

. Customers can then also use the cart to transport their purchased goods to their cars.

In some places, customers are allowed to leave the carts in the parking lot
Parking lot
A parking lot , also known as car lot, is a cleared area that is intended for parking vehicles. Usually, the term refers to a dedicated area that has been provided with a durable or semi-durable surface....

, and store personnel will return the carts to the storage area. In most European premises however, coin (or token) operated locking mechanisms are provided to encourage shoppers to return the carts to the correct location after use.

Design


Most modern shopping carts are made of metal or a combination of metal and plastic and have been designed to nest within each other in a line to facilitate collecting and moving many at one time and also to save on storage space. The carts can come in many sizes, with larger ones able to carry a child. There are also specialised carts designed for two children, and electric mobility scooter
Mobility scooter
A mobility scooter is a mobility aid equivalent to a wheelchair but configured like a motorscooter. It is often referred to as a power-operated vehicle/scooter or electric scooter as well.-Description:...

s with baskets designed for disabled customers.

In the USA 24,000 children are injured each year in shopping carts.
Some stores both in the USA and internationally have child-carrying carts that look like a car or van with a seat where a child can sit equipped with a steering wheel and sometimes a horn. Such "Car-Carts" or "Beans", as some call them in the cart business, may offer protection and convenience by keeping the child restrained, lower to the ground, protected from falling items, and amused.

Shopping carts are usually fitted with four wheels, however if any one wheel jams the cart can become difficult to handle. Most American carts have swivel wheels
Caster
A caster is an undriven, single, double, or compound wheel that is designed to be mounted to the bottom of a larger object so as to enable that object to be easily moved...

 at the front, while the rear wheels are fixed in orientation, while in Europe it is more common to have four swivel wheels.

An alternative to the shopping cart is a small hand-held shopping basket. A customer may prefer a basket for a small amount of merchandise. Small shops, where carts would be impractical, often supply only baskets.

History

One of the first shopping carts was introduced on June 4, 1937, the invention of Sylvan Goldman
Sylvan Goldman
Sylvan Nathan Goldman was an American businessman and inventor of the shopping cart, which had a pair of large wire baskets connected by tubular metal arms with four wheels. He introduced the device on June 4, 1937, in the Humpty Dumpty supermarket chain in Oklahoma City, of which he was the owner...

, owner of the Piggly Wiggly supermarket chain in Oklahoma City
Oklahoma city
Oklahoma City is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Oklahoma.Oklahoma City may also refer to:*Oklahoma City metropolitan area*Downtown Oklahoma City*Uptown Oklahoma City*Oklahoma City bombing*Oklahoma City National Memorial...

 (another shopping-cart innovator was Orla Watson).
One night, in 1936, Goldman sat in his office wondering how customers might move more groceries. He found a wooden folding chair and put a basket on the seat and wheels on the legs. Goldman and one of his employees, Fred Young, a mechanic, began tinkering. Their first shopping cart was a metal frame that held two wire baskets. Since they were inspired by the folding chair, Goldman called his carts "folding basket carriers". Another mechanic, Arthur Kosted, developed a method to mass produce the carts by inventing an assembly line capable of forming and welding the wire. The cart was awarded patent number 2,196,914 on April 9, 1940 (Filing date: March 14, 1938), titled, "Folding Basket Carriage for Self-Service Stores". They advertised the invention as part of a new “No Basket Carrying Plan."

The invention did not catch on immediately. Men found them effeminate; women found them suggestive of a baby carriage. "I've pushed my last baby buggy," an offended woman informed Goldman. After hiring several male and female models to push his new invention around his store and demonstrate their utility, as well as greeters to explain their use, shopping carts became extremely popular and Goldman became a multimillionaire. Goldman continued to make modifications to his original design, and the basket size of the shopping cart increased as stores realized that their customers purchased more as its size increased. Today, most big-box store
Big-box store
A big-box store is a physically large retail establishment, usually part of a chain. The term sometimes also refers, by extension, to the company that operates the store...

s and supermarkets have shopping carts for the convenience of the shoppers.

Past studies determined that retailers who did not offer shopping carts such as Sears suffered slower sales in comparison with retailers who did use shopping carts.

Subsequent to the introduction of shopping trolleys and centralised checkout lines at Sears shops, the company noticed an increase in sales.
In 2004 the British supermarket chain Tesco
Tesco
Tesco plc is a global grocery and general merchandise retailer headquartered in Cheshunt, United Kingdom. It is the third-largest retailer in the world measured by revenues and the second-largest measured by profits...

 trialled shopping trolleys with built in resistance (adjustable from 1 to 10), pulse monitoring and calorie counting hardware in an effort to raise awareness of health issues. This introduction of the trolleys coincided with Tesco's sponsorship of the cancer awareness Race for Life
Race for Life
Race for Life is a series of fundraising events organised by the British charity, Cancer Research UK. They involve running, jogging or walking a 5-kilometre course and raising sponsorship for doing so. The money raised is donated to the charity to fund cancer research and campaigns...

.
Recently researchers developed prototypes of computerised context aware
Context awareness
Context awareness is defined complementary to location awareness. Whereas location may serve as a determinant for resident processes, context may be applied more flexibly with mobile computing with any moving entities, especially with bearers of smart communicators...

 shopping cart by attaching a Tablet PC
Tablet computer
A tablet computer, or simply tablet, is a complete mobile computer, larger than a mobile phone or personal digital assistant, integrated into a flat touch screen and primarily operated by touching the screen...

 to an ordinary cart

Initial field trials
Field experiment
A field experiment applies the scientific method to experimentally examine an intervention in the real world rather than in the laboratory...

 showed that the prototype and its context-awareness provide an opportunity for enhancing and affecting the shopping experience.

While the basic design of shopping carts has changed very little since their creation in the 1930s, Target's new cart, made of recycled plastic, is an evolutionary step forward. The cart has won design awards for its improved casters, interchangeable plastic parts to simplify repairs and handles that allow a user to more easily maneuver it around the retail area.

Rental


In many countries, the customer has to pay a small deposit
Deposit account
A deposit account is a current account, savings account, or other type of bank account, at a banking institution that allows money to be deposited and withdrawn by the account holder. These transactions are recorded on the bank's books, and the resulting balance is recorded as a liability for the...

 by inserting a coin
Coin
A coin is a piece of hard material that is standardized in weight, is produced in large quantities in order to facilitate trade, and primarily can be used as a legal tender token for commerce in the designated country, region, or territory....

, token or card, which is returned if and when the customer returns the cart to a designated cart parking point. The motivation behind the deposit systems is not theft deterrent (the trolley is worth significantly more than the deposit) but to reduce the expense of employees having to gather carts that are not returned, and to avoid damage done by runaway trolleys.

Although almost ubiquitous in Europe and Canada, the deposit system has not been widely adopted in the United States, with the exception of some chains like Aldi
ALDI
ALDI Einkauf GmbH & Co. oHG, doing business as ', short for "Albrecht Discount", is a discount supermarket chain based in Germany...

, who require a $0.25 deposit. Other stores such as Costco
Costco
Costco Wholesale Corporation is the largest membership warehouse club chain in the United States. it is the third largest retailer in the United States, where it originated, and the ninth largest in the world...

 and ShopRite
ShopRite
ShopRite, Shoprite, Shop Rite or Shop-Rite may refer to:* Shoprite , the South African food distributor* Shoprite , the Isle of Man-based food retailer that once traded in the United Kingdom...

 also use the coin deposit system, but it is not used at all of their locations.

In Australia, deposit systems are common in some local government areas as they have been made compulsory by local law. Usually, all ALDI
ALDI
ALDI Einkauf GmbH & Co. oHG, doing business as ', short for "Albrecht Discount", is a discount supermarket chain based in Germany...

 stores, and most Coles and Safeway stores will have a lock mechanism on their trolley which requires a $1 or $2 coin to unlock. One district council in Sydney has banned the use of shopping trolleys because of the tendency of people to take shopping carts home with them and not return them to the shop.
The deposit varies, but usually coins of higher value, such as
Euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

1, £
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

1, or $1 are used. While the deposit systems usually are designed to accommodate a certain size of domestic coin, foreign coins, former currencies (like DM coins) or even appropriately folded pieces of cardboard can be used to unlock the trolleys as well. Trolley collectors are also usually provided with a special key which they can use to unlock the trolleys from the trolley bay and get the key back.

Some retailers sell "trolley tokens" as an alternative to coins, often for charity. Merchandising companies also offer branded shopping trolley tokens as a product.

In some airport
Airport
An airport is a location where aircraft such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and blimps take off and land. Aircraft may be stored or maintained at an airport...

s a system similar to the shopping trolley deposit is also used with luggage
Luggage
Baggage is any number of bags, cases and containers which hold a traveller's articles during transit.Luggage is more or less the same concept as "baggage", but is normally used in relation to the personal luggage of a specific person or persons Baggage is any number of bags, cases and containers...

 carts as a profit making opportunity. Companies like Smarte Carte
Smarte Carte
Smarte Carte, Inc. is an American based corporation that provides passenger and guest services such as self-serve vended luggage carts, electronic lockers, commercial strollers and massage chairs, and more....

 charge two or more dollars (U.S.)
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

 (or equivalent) for rent
Renting
Renting is an agreement where a payment is made for the temporary use of a good, service or property owned by another. A gross lease is when the tenant pays a flat rental amount and the landlord pays for all property charges regularly incurred by the ownership from landowners...

al, and return a small token reward
Bounty (reward)
A bounty is a payment or reward often offered by a group as an incentive for the accomplishment of a task by someone usually not associated with the group. Bounties are most commonly issued for the capture or retrieval of a person or object. They are typically in the form of money...

 of a quarter (25 ¢) for returning carts to the other end of any dispenser
Dispenser
-Containers and machines:Various machines that dispense things:* Automatic toothpaste dispenser* Cash dispenser * Hearing aid dispenser* Label dispenser* Klik Rockets Dispenser, a candy dispenser* Paper towel dispenser...

 machine
Machine
A machine manages power to accomplish a task, examples include, a mechanical system, a computing system, an electronic system, and a molecular machine. In common usage, the meaning is that of a device having parts that perform or assist in performing any type of work...

.

Theft prevention

Shopping cart theft can be a costly problem with stores that use them. Often the carts end up in apartment complexes, low-income housing, bus stops or locations where the person doing the shopping is unlikely to own a car. The carts, which cost between $75 and $150 each, have been used for such purposes as barbecue pits, go-carts, laundry trolleys, basketball nets, and even shelters, or they are simply abandoned. Such losses can be substantial (up to $800 million globally lost every year), stores have resorted to various systems to prevent theft. Stores may use one or more of these systems (i.e., cart retrieval and electronic).

Cart retrieval service

Most retailers in North America utilize a cart retrieval service, which collects carts found off the store's premises and returns them to the store for a fee. The primary strength of this system is the ability of pedestrian customers to take purchases home and allow retailers to recapture abandoned carts in a timely manner at a fraction of the cost of a replacement cart. It also allows retailers to maintain their cart inventories without an expensive capital outlay. A drawback of this method is that it is reactive instead of proactively preventing the carts from leaving a parking lot. One of the nation's leading cart retrieval companies, California Shopping Cart Retrieval Corporation, was formed in 1993 after retailers realized the cart retrieval business should run in a professional, efficient and ethical manner. The firm now operates in several western states and is expanding its service areas. A new iPhone application, CartSnap, was recently created to allow users to take a photo of an abandoned shopping cart and instantaneously submit the data to the company which, in turn, streams the data to CSCRC, so that drivers can quickly find and return an abandoned cart.

Electronic and magnetic

Electronic systems are sometimes used by retailers. Each shopping cart is fitted with an electronic locking wheel, or 'boot'. A transmitter with a thin wire is placed around the perimeter of the parking lot, and the boot locks when the cart leaves the designated area. Store personnel must then deactivate the lock with a hand-held remote to return the cart to stock. Often a line is painted in front of the broadcast range to warn customers that their cart will stop when rolled past the line. Unfortunately these systems are very expensive to install and although helpful are not foolproof. The wheels can be lifted over the electronic barrier and/or pushed hard enough that the locks break. Some cities have required retailers to install locking wheel systems on their shopping carts. In some cases, electronic systems companies have encouraged passage of such laws to create a captive audience of potential customers.

Some trolleys have magnetic locking wheels. The supermarket floor has a magnetic strip around a designated perimeter line, if the trolley passes over this line the wheels lock and the trolley is rendered immovable. However the wheel locks can be broken and the trolley is movable again.

Physical

A low-tech form of theft prevention utilizes a physical impediment, such as vertical posts at the store entrance to keep carts from being taken into the parking lot. This method also impedes physically disabled customers, which may be illegal in many jurisdictions. For example, in the United States of America, it is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Another method is to mount a pole with a height higher than the entrance, onto the shopping cart, so that the pole will block exit of the cart. However, this method requires the aisles of the store (including lights, piping, any overhead signage and fixtures) to be higher than that of the pole. It also prevents customers from carting their purchases to their cars, at least in the store's carts. Many customers learn to bring their own folding or otherwise collapsible cart with them, which they can usually hang on the store's cart while shopping.

Name

The names of a shopping cart vary by region. The following names are regional-specific names for shopping carts:
  • Shopping cart – the United States
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

     and Canada
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

    .
  • Trolley/shopping trolley – the United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

    , Ireland
    Ireland
    Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

    , Australia
    Australia
    Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

    , New Zealand
    New Zealand
    New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

    , South Africa
    South Africa
    The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

     and some regions of Canada
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

    .
  • Barrae - Some places in Scotland
    Scotland
    Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

  • Carriage/shopping carriageNew England
    New England
    New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

     region of the United States.
  • Buggy – Some regions of Canada
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

    , parts of the Southern United States
    Southern United States
    The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

      and Pittsburgh; the latter case often being considered a word related to Pittsburghese
    Pittsburgh English
    Pittsburgh English, popularly known by outsiders as Pittsburghese, is the dialect of American English spoken by many especially older residents of Pittsburgh and parts of surrounding Western Pennsylvania in the United States, a group referred to by locals and others as Yinzers.-Overview:Many of the...

    .
  • Bascart/basket – various regions.
  • Wagon – Hawaii, New England.
  • Caddy – France

For people with a disability

Special electronic shopping carts are provided by many retailers for the elderly or people with a disability. These are essentially electric wheelchairs with an attached basket. They allow customers to navigate around the store and collect groceries.

Manually powered trolleys are also available specifically designed for use by wheelchair users.
A still to be implemented aid for people with disabilities is the addition of a guide wheel at the centre of rotation of a trolley with 4 caster wheels. In order to allow the nesting of trolleys to be unhindered this guide wheel is attached to the front of the trolley with a piece of spring steel which bends under the carts weight.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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