Oklahoma City inventor of shopping cart a symbol of local innovationPublished: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 By: Scott Meacham Source: NewsOK
Innovation drives everything. Without innovation, we wouldn't have entrepreneurs, startup companies, or job and wealth creation. And we wouldn't have shopping carts.
Sylvan Goldman, the Oklahoma grocer who in 1937 invented the shopping cart, had a business problem that was keeping him from increasing what we today would call in-store sales.
The women who came to Goldman's grocery stores (and in the thirties, they were mostly women) stopped shopping when their hand-carry baskets were full. I can just imagine Goldman sitting in his office after a long Saturday pondering the problem and thinking “how can I grow my business by making it easier for these women to shop?”
With a bigger basket, his customers could buy more things. Since the basket would be too heavy to lift, Goldman put it on wheels, using a folding chair for the frame. His “prototype” was kind of klunky, but Goldman figured it was good enough for a market test.