What Is the Most Durable Kind of Shopping Cart?

Shopping cart full of groceries

No matter your hours of operation, your shopping carts are meant for frequent use — as long as you’re open, many of your customers will grab a cart to aid them along their shopping journey. Over time, all of this activity will take a toll on your carts. We’ve all been in stores with a fleet of carts that look as if they’ve been in many battles, donning dents, scratches, chipped paint, loose wheels, and more. Nothing lasts forever, but this doesn’t mean you should want to waste time and money replacing your carts every few years. The more practical approach is to invest in high-quality, durable carts from the outset. Heavy duty carts keep customers satisfied, reduce liability, and save you money in the long run due to fewer repair and replacement costs.

So, what’s the most durable kind of shopping cart? The answer isn’t so simple. For now, let’s go over the various factors that go into a shopping cart’s durability and your ultimate decision.

What to Know About the Durability of Shopping Carts

Bigger Isn’t Necessarily Better

We often associate size with strength, but a cart’s dimensions have little to do with its overall durability. Sure, large shopping carts are more likely to endure certain threats (i.e., impact from vehicles) compared to smaller carts, but they’re still susceptible to wear and tear and other forces. In fact, larger carts can sometimes wear down more quickly than their smaller counterparts by virtue of taking up more space and being more difficult to maneuver — if a cart is cumbersome in these ways, they’re more likely to collide with objects on a regular basis. Simply put, size shouldn’t be the primary factor you consider when searching for the most durable carts out there. What a given cart is made of matters much more, which we’ll discuss next.

Materials Matter

If you want to outfit your store with durable shopping carts, you need to consider their composition. It’s no secret that some materials are more sturdy and resilient than others. A cart made from flimsy plastic won’t last all that long, for instance. That said, plastic shopping carts can be quite durable — it all depends on the type of plastic used and the manufacturing process. Steel is another durable material used for shopping carts, both for their frames and wheel bearings. As we discuss in our blog, “Steel vs. Plastic Carts” both plastic and steel carts can be comparably durable when produced with quality materials, and both have unique downsides, too (steel carts can rust, for instance, and plastic can be trickier to repair). 

In many cases, the durability of a given material is directly proportional to its cost, meaning cheaper carts tend to wear down faster than more expensive options. This isn’t to say that all durable carts are unreasonably costly, however. Rather, you’ll have to dish out a bit more for higher-quality carts initially, but you’ll likely save money in the long run thanks to their superior construction.

The Role of Shape and Design

The way a cart is designed factors into its durability as well. For the most part, shopping carts share a similar basic design across the board. When you dig into the details, however, you can find some significant differences between carts, even those made from similar materials. For example, plastic carts that leverage a honeycomb lattice design offer inherent strength — this pattern (which can be found in nature by bees) reinforces the overall structure, making it difficult for the cart’s carriage to bend or break, even after significant impact. Similarly, the compact design of a wire double basket cart makes them easy to maneuver even in tight spaces, reducing the risk of impact and other issues. When it’s time to purchase new shopping carts, then, keep in mind how their shape contributes to their ability to withstand various pressures.

Meeting Your Customers’ Needs

Durability refers to staying power not only in terms of physical integrity but also customer sentiment. In other words, your carts must not only endure wear and tear — they must also continue to meet the needs of your various customers over time. Providing your customers with heavy duty shopping carts is certainly part of this equation. After all, no shopper wants to grab a cart that’s noisy and falling apart. In addition to this tangible strength, the carts you select should be well-suited for the types of products you sell and the shopping styles of your customers. Some stores might benefit from providing smaller carts or double basket carts while others might do better with larger offerings. And certain shopping cart designs might make for a more streamlined experience for your audience.

The Verdict

If there were a simple answer to the question of which kind of shopping cart is the most durable, we’d be happy to provide it. Unfortunately, the best shopping carts for one business’ needs aren’t always the best for another’s. Durability can be measured in both tangible and intangible ways. That said, some carts are more likely to stand the test of time by virtue of their composition and design. In this sense, the most durable carts are those built from high-quality materials and manufactured with optimal processes. The good news is that Good L Corp. delivers on both of these important accounts.

Good L Corporation delivers innovative shopping cart and basket solutions for retailers on a global scale. Good L Corp. can configure the right carryall strategy to boost your retail business, from a fleet of new custom carts to launch your store opening to replacement baskets that supplement your existing shop supply. Let’s get started! Contact us today for a no-pressure sales quote!

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