Shoppers Find Carts Cheaper Than Aspirin
By George Anderson
Many parents go shopping with their young children and soon understand why they previously said they would never do it again.
Meijer, however, thinks it may have hit on a solution that will satisfy both parents and their kids.
The chain, reports The Grand Rapids Press, is testing TV Karts (aka kiddie carts) that look like mini golf cart and are mounted with small video screens. The carts also
come with seat belts, doors and a mini steering wheel. They are intended for children one to six and under 80 pounds.
Consumers who make use of the cart pay the store $1 to rent them.
One woman shopping with her kids told The Grand Rapids Press, “That’s only $4 a month,” she said. “That’s a lot cheaper than the aspirin I have to buy when I’m done shopping.”
Another shopper, Anita Lucas, was also impressed. Her two children, ages four and five, were quietly watching a “Bob The Builder” video while she shopped.
“I thought, ‘Wow,’ and couldn’t believe it when I saw these carts,” she said.
Of course there is always some downside for the retailer in these situations. “For a change, my kids aren’t asking for everything in the store,” said Ms. Lucas.
Jack Patty, a Meijer store director in Cascade, Mich., didn’t seem concerned that the carts might eat into “Mommy, can we…?” sales.
“The feedback on the carts has been amazing,” he said. “By the middle of the day, people are lined up to get one.”
Meijer plans to eventually roll out the carts to all of its stores.
Moderator’s Comment: Does Meijer gain a competitive point of differentiation, if only temporary, from the use of kiddie carts? Will consumers who have
shopped elsewhere now shop at Meijer because of the prospect of a quieter shop using the kiddie carts? –
George Anderson – Moderator