The Curmudgeon Report: Size of your cart makes a difference

You can learn a lot from dinnertime discussions. You can learn a lot more if the table talkers include a couple of intelligent eighty-year-olds whose experience makes them experts on the subject of common sense.

I had the good fortune of spending an hour with some sharp seniors recently and the talk at the table ranged from the trivial to the earth trembling. They discussed someone named Trump and how his name rhymes with dump. They chewed on the subject of food, ready to share recipes, and compared weather forecasts, insisting that the one Cay heard was much more accurate than Madeleines.

Before long the focus of the discussion zeroed in on the one subject that drew the ire of them all: shopping carts. All the voices honed in on the issue and one of the senior sages blurted out the one word that would be the objective of most of the talk: Target!

I will admit I have been upset about a lot of things over these many years but Target has never been one of them. However, that all was about to change.

The longer the powwow went on, the more smoke was generated. Madeleine honed in on the subject – shopping carts – while Cay zeroed in on the specific issue – they are too big.

And you know what? They are right.

For decades shoppers have gone to supermarkets, department stores and sundry establishments, using the carts provided and never giving their relative size a second thought. But recently, more and more retailers have made a concession to the consumer and now offer customers both: a standard, regular size push cart as well as a smaller one.

The trend has not been universally adopted, but it seems like it will catch on before long.

This move to add a smaller cart is a godsend for many of us. Seniors can get around the facility much easier, and since we don’t buy much anyway, the mini cart is the perfect weapon of seduction.

And, as Madeleine pointed out, “the smaller the cart, the smaller the bill at checkout.”

Busy parents jump on the small cart phenomena with enthusiasm. When they need to stop on their drive home from work and pick up that bread, milk and whatnot that were running low in the household inventory, a small cart time will speed their schedule as well.

Unfortunately, the addition of small carts may have brought some blood to a broil already, but it is just recently that complaints have started to bubble to a boil.

I noted lately that grocery big guys like Food Lion and Harris Teeter are adding to their small cart inventories as we speak. And even retail giant Walmart has started to make small buggies available for customers.

“As for Target” Cay interjected. “I’m short but I am still strong and you could say I am woman. But even I can hardly handle the carts at the Target retail facilities.”

Maybe we should start calling them ‘Target tanks’’ another suggested.

Although its competitors have started down the road toward sensibility in the shopping cart world, it appears that not every store got the message.

Their carts come in one size: huge.

As my lady friends put it, for all the effort you need when you push your cart around the store, you’d be no worse off using the vehicle that has a big stick and flag attached to it. You know, the kiddie cart.

Let’s give this issue a 5 on our blood boiling scale.

Winslow has written the Curmudgeon Report for more than a dozen years. He wonders how rapidly your blood is boiling on this issue? Let him know at donwin16@gmail.com.

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