I fell upon a quirky article that I just had to share with you. Something I never knew and find interesting given the change New Jersey just went through.
Days ago the way we shop forever changed. On May 4 grocery stores were no longer legally allowed to put the things you buy in plastic or even paper bags. You now have to bring your own reusable ones. Other stores are also in violation of the new law if they dare hand you a single-use plastic bag. But paper is OK if it isn’t a grocery store.
Shoppers are still trying to get used to this. I’ve talked to some grocery store workers who say the complaining isn’t as bad as they thought it would be and others who say they’ve been the target of some really nasty choice words.
I’ve already seen frustrated shoppers throw their hands up inside stores and mutter out loud how stupid they were that they forgot to bring their bags in from the car. Still others forgetting them at home.
So will we ever get used to this nonsense?
That’s where this interesting article I came across might lend some insight.
Did you know we didn’t always have shopping carts with wheels but only the much smaller handheld baskets? I imagine this was in the age when there were fewer foods with preservatives and trips to the grocery store were more than once a week to “stock up” like families tend to do now.
People hated the idea and refused to try them.
The shopping cart came about in the 1930s, according to CNN. Sylvan Goldman owned grocery stores in Oklahoma and he saw that people stopped shopping when their hand-carried baskets got heavy and full. He introduced the much larger baskets on wheels you could push around the store, thinking people would line up just to use them.
No one did.
People hated the idea and refused to try them. Women sniped that they push baby carriages around all day and they wouldn’t push around yet another contraption on wheels. Men spoke of how it would make them look weak to not carry their own items.
Goldman, knowing these complaints and concerns were ridiculous, hired people to pretend they were shoppers. Their job was to simply pose as shoppers pushing these shopping carts around stores filling them with items so all the real shoppers would keep getting glimpses of other people using them.
It was basically the principle of no one wanting to be the first up to dance. Soon real shoppers grabbed them too and the rest was history.
Strange to think there was a time no one would touch a shopping cart in a grocery store.
Maybe we’ll get used to this new reusable bag thing after all.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.
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