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How a Basket on Wheels Revolutionized Grocery Shopping

Stashed in: Awesome, Marketing, Freakonomics

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At one time rejected as a nuisance, the shopping cart is seen as a necessity by today’s shoppers — so much so, that some analysts have attributed the demise of Sears and J.C. Penny to the stores’ “cartless” policy.

For grocery stores, they remain integral to the bottom line: studies have shown that larger carts lead to as much as 40% more purchasing. As a result, the carts of many retailers — including Whole Foods, Safeway, and Walmart — have doubled in size in the past 20 years, to as much as 15,000 cubic inches.

“Bigger capacity carts sell more groceries: today’s shopper wants to buy more,” wrote one cart manufacturer. “Impulse buying is the very essence of success in supermarketing...and it should not be restricted by limited capacity carts.”

for me That's a funny marketing idea. I see Albertsons and the trader joes of the world have accepted a smaller length basket but then make it a double basket cart by putting a second basket under the top one in the shopping carts. I for one prefer to go in with the intention of buying one to 3 things therefore I don't use a cart or carrying basket, then halfway through shopping I grab a basket and carry that, fill it up and end up with about 2-3 bags of groceries, I do still hate to use a cart.

I think it is a mental thing for me, if I walk in and get a cart then I feel like my shopping will increase and I will buy things I don't really need, like the article above agrees with, a cart is my last option.

You're smart to avoid the cart for that very reason.

I think of the giant Costco carts that encourage people to buy a LOT. 

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