March 08, 2014

Horse 1633 - Cup Holders On Shopping Trolleys... No, This Is Not The Latest Irish Invention

- Does the world really need this?

In the same week that:
- the ABC on 7.30 ran a report saying that for the most part children's vitamin supplements are completely pointless¹
- that Pizza Hut launched its Cheeseburger Crust Pizza Crust²: described by The Guardian as "cheese-slicked gastronomic hell"³; by Gizmodo as "Ungodly" and by Lifehacker as both an "Abomination" and "horrifying"
- I find the above shopping trolley at Woolworths with both grip handles, which are sensible and as the picture shows, a cup holder. WHY?! Has it really come to this?

I'll tell you why. Late last year, Woolworths opened a coffee shop within several of their stores including Moonee Ponds (Vic) and the Rundle Mall (SA); with plans to extend the trial across Australia. I suppose that not being content with driving every single independent petrol station into the ground, Woolworths have now decided to do likewise to independent coffee shops.
Woolworths I'm sure will cite this as an innovation and that "time poor" shoppers will now be able to get a nice cup of coffee as they do their shopping. I suspect that "coffee shops" within supermarkets probably won be run by actual baristas and that they'll still charge between $3-$4 for their product; to be scanned along with everything else at the end, surely.
The other reason which I think is equally disturbing is that they think that people would be just as equally likely to purchase an energy drink or some such as they walk around the supermarket. Do we really need this?

If someone does want a coffee, then how hard is it to go to a coffee shop. I would have thought that the whole point of such places was they they sell a decent product. Moreover, don't regular coffee shops provide a quite sort of place to shut the world out for a couple of minutes? A chance to pause and maybe read the newspaper or the like?

I don't know if caffeine of itself make people spend more money but I would suspect that considering that caffeine does have an effect on impulse control due to the way that it affects serotonin uptake, then I would suspect so even though I can't find any reliable study which suggests this (maybe it's because one has not been done yet).
If that theory is true then on both counts, the cup holder's very existence acts as a visual encouragement to spend more money as well as caffeine acting as an encouragement to spend more money, all the while whist spending more money on the cup of coffee or energy drink in the first place.

That after it's all said and done is the very point of Woolworths and indeed any business, to get you to spend more money. I guess that I just find this a little overtly dastardly.
Now if there was only some way to put vitamin supplements on a cheeseburger crust pizza...



BaileyAnneBravely said...

Alternatively, you could consider it a kindly gesture toward busy mothers who could leave the baby's bottle in the cup holder so the baby doesn't throw it on the ground every thirty seconds. I'm sure it will fit things other than a coffee bought at their in-house shop.

Yes, unlikely that was their intention. But hey, the bright side and all that.

I've seen a Dunkin Donuts inside a WalMart here in the US, but I've yet to see cup holder shopping carts.

Gerri B-H, Gold Coast said...

I'm left handed. I find these new Woolworths shopping trolleys to be VERY DANGEROUS. For 50 years I have been loading the trolley from behind, by leaning over the handle to place items. Now I get hit in the breast by the cup holder! It also happens when I am steering and someone bumps the trolley from the front. I find it unpleasant to keep going around to the side of the trolley to load it and it blocks the aisle.

WOMEN BEWARE!!! I was left with a big bruise on my breast on a couple of occasions so I don't shop there now unless I only need a hand basket full.

Also, once in a busy aisle, a man tried to overtake his companion, as they approached my trolley and he caught his sleeve on one of the handles of my trolley and ripped his sleeve.

I think they are dangerous! I keep reporting it to staff but the messages doesn't get through to management!