Sometimes, something becomes so commonplace that everyone begins to take it for granted. Shopping carts are a great example of this phenomenon. They've existed for years without much change, because if something isn't broken, why fix it, right? But what if a few simple changes to the classic design would mean a world of difference to thousands of people? Drew Ann Long asked that question, and it lead to the creation of Caroline's Cart, a redesigned shopping cart designed for those with special needs.
Caroline's Cart got its name from Caroline Long, one of Drew Ann's children, who was diagnosed with Rett syndrome. Drew Ann soon realized that she had no idea what she was going to do when she went shopping with Caroline once she'd outgrown the seat built into regular shopping carts. Using a shopping cart while also pushing a wheelchair is a herculean task, but no better option seemed to exist. That realization lead to a sketch on a napkin, which lead to a patent, which lead to Caroline's Cart changing the shopping experience for thousands of parents and caretakers around the nation.
If popularity is any indicator, the idea behind Caroline's Cart is a hit. The redesigned cart can already be found in a number of well-known retailers, including ShopRite, Stop & Shop, Wegmans and Big Y. However, this week it was announced that the retail giant Target would be introducing Caroline's Cart nationwide, with nearly every store receiving at least one of the redesigned shopping carts. With nearly 1,800 locations across the US, this marks the first major nationwide rollout of Caroline's Cart.
Caroline's Cart is optimistic that Target's support will be a major boost in momentum when it comes to convincing other retailers to provide the carts at their locations. The carts naturally require an investment, and in today's economy it can be difficult to convince retailers to spend money on something that they can't turn a profit from in stores. However, providing an improved shopping experience goes a long way towards increasing return customers and positive publicity. Let's hope this creates a domino effect to other retailers.
What really hit home for us at HDS Medallion is how both our company and theirs came from similar roots. When her mother found it impossible to find a CarryAll bag for her walker that was both functional and fashionable, our co-founder Carol was inspired to solve that problem. HDS Medallion was started to provide stylish walker bags, wheelchair bags, and power chair accessories for women who use mobility devices.
The story behind Caroline's Cart is no different. Both Caroline's Cart and HDS Medallion exist because one person's personal experience showed them where a larger need wasn't being fulfilled, and motivated them to make sure they could change that for as many people as possible. That's why all of us here at HDS Medallion congratulate Caroline's Cart on this latest success, and wish them even more in the future!