Walmart Shoppers Call for Boycott Over Controversial Change

By: Georgia | Published: Jun 18, 2024

Walmart has rolled out a redesigned shopping cart across its 4,600 stores, stirring a mix of feedback from shoppers. 

The new carts, equipped with handy features like a cup holder and a special spot for smartphones or grocery lists, have been a hit with many, who appreciate the added conveniences for a smoother shopping experience.

Taller Carts Ruffle Feathers

The revamped carts stand taller than their predecessors, with handlebars now reaching 43.3 inches—up by 3.5 inches.

A long row of blue and gray Walmart shopping carts lined up outside against a bright yellow wall

Source: Fabio Bracht/Unsplash

This modification has not sat well with everyone, especially shorter shoppers who find the new height creates a barrier to a comfortable shopping experience, sparking an array of discomforts and complaints.


Height Hurdles for Parents

In the new cart design, the child seat has been elevated almost 8 inches higher than in older models.

Interior of a Walmart store showing various aisles with products and customers shopping. Signs overhead indicate product categories such as coffee, juice, and baking spices

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This change has proven problematic for shorter parents who struggle to see past their seated children, complicating their ability to maneuver through crowded store aisles.

Social Media Outcry

Displeasure with the cart changes has spilled over onto social media platforms. 

Close-up of a group of Walmart shopping carts stacked together, featuring blue plastic and metal grid designs with red and white wheels

Source: Wikimedia Commons

One particularly frustrated customer demanded on Facebook: “Dear Walmart, please explain to me how a person who’s 5 feet tall or under can push those new high carts you so stupidly acquired?” This outcry is a testament to the broader dissatisfaction felt by some customers.

Reports of Strain and Pain

The higher carts have brought more than just inconvenience; they’ve brought physical pain. 

Close-up of a person in a white tank top holding their left shoulder with a pained expression, indicating shoulder pain

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Shoppers have reported discomfort, with one saying, “My arms and shoulders actually ached pushing that freak of a cart through the store!”

Boycott Threats Over Cart Changes

Some customers are so frustrated with the new carts that they’re considering boycotting Walmart altogether.

Front view of a Walmart store entrance with the store's name and logo in yellow on a brick building, with rows of blue shopping carts in the foreground

Source: Wikimedia Commons

“I stopped going to Walmart,” one shopper declared, adding their reason: “I do not like the new carts. Making fun of short people.”


Exclusion Concerns

The sentiment that the new carts fail to cater to all shoppers, especially those who are shorter, is strong. 

View from inside a shopping cart at a Walmart store, showing a variety of groceries in the cart with store shelves stocked with items and price tags visible in the background

Source: Marjan Blan/Unsplash

“Those carts aren’t made for us short people,” one comment read, highlighting a sense of exclusion that some shoppers feel due to the redesign.


Walmart's Word: Enhancing the Experience

Despite the outcry, Walmart stands by their new carts. 

Aerial view of a Walmart store showing the extensive parking area filled with cars and the large store building prominently displaying the Walmart logo

Source: Wikimedia Commons

A spokesperson stated they are meant to “enhance customers’ shopping experience,” aiming for improvements that benefit everyone.


A Brief History of Shopping Carts

The shopping cart, a creation of Fred and Sylvan Goldman in 1937.

A long line of Walmart shopping carts parked against a white wall

Source: Gabrielle Ribeiro/Unsplash

They revolutionized how people shop by making it easier to carry larger, heavier items. 


A Game Changer

This invention was a game changer, allowing shoppers to grab bulkier items and stock up for the week easily.

A perspective view inside a shopping mall showing shoppers from behind, each pushing a metal shopping cart.

Source: Adrien Delforge/Unsplash

It changed consumer habits profoundly and has been a staple in stores worldwide.


The Scope of Walmart's Cart Inventory

At Walmart, the number of shopping carts per store ranges from 600 to 800, with supercenters stocking up to 2,000.

A single empty Walmart shopping cart abandoned beside a stone wall

Source: Joshua Hoehne/Unsplash

This substantial inventory highlights the critical role that cart design plays in the shopping experience of millions of Walmart customers.


The Future of Shopping Carts

As Walmart continues to roll out these towering carts, the debate is likely to continue. 

Close-up view of the handles of a series of shopping carts, focusing on the red plastic grips locked together

Source: Alexandru Tugui/Unsplash

Will customer feedback lead to tweaks, or will these modern carts become the new normal?