A new shopping cart is on its way to Target stores nationwide. Why all the fuss over a new shopping cart? The cart is not just any cart. This new shopping cart is designed specifically for families with children who have special needs.
The idea came to Target from an employee who has a child with special needs. She came across Caroline’s Cart and passed the idea onto her employer, Target. Caroline’s Cart is the brainchild of creator, Drew Ann Long. According to the Caroline’s Cart website, the goal of the design is to give “parents and caregivers a viable option to transport a child through a store while grocery shopping, without having the impossible task of having to maneuver a wheelchair and a traditional grocery cart at the same time”.
The inspiration for the design came after Drew Ann Long’s daughter, who has Rett Syndrome, grew out of typical shopping carts and into a wheelchair. Long found it difficult to handle both the cart and wheelchair at the same time. She knew there had to be a better way. After working hard to create the design, she patented it with the hopes that every retailer would use the design.
Currently, Target has picked up the design and is planning to distribute the cart to stores nationwide on March 19. This launch comes after Target tested out the cart in select stores for the past year.
If successful, it is likely that other stores and retailers will follow suit. Currently, every Kroger, Publix, Hannaford, Food Lion, Wegman’s store in the continental United States already uses this cart design for their customers. The carts can be painted and stamped to meet the color schemes and business model of each store.
Drew Ann herself states, “I felt like, by designing the cart, I highlighted a problem that has existed forever.” She is excited at the prospect that these carts will change society’s views on special needs children who are shopping with their families.