The Target Shopping Cart Design

They just opened a new Target close to where I live and I happened to notice their shopping cart. I’m not sure if it’s a new design or not but I was wondering who designed it. It looks nice but it’s heavy and bulky and wondering what others think about it. The one that IDEO did almost ten years ago wasn’t as bulky. What do you think of it from a design point of view. I think it would be great if they made it lightweight but I like the design of it.

I like the “railing” along the top of the cart, but I’m not sure they had to use plastic for the whole frame. It just looks cheap, and I’m not sure how durable it would be in the long run. Guess I’ll have to test drive one to find out.

Are you doing some visual product testing? Hard to tell about any of those qualities from an in store photo.

Based on the picture, it look is awesome, no doubt about that. I like the subtle Marc Newson references in it’s design. The aesthetic does a good job of continuing their brand values into their consumer experience.

As always, I have to give it to Target for doing SOMETHING. It would have been easy to keep buying OEM carts, but they decided to spend more money on something their customers don’t buy in order to extend their brand experience. Thank you for supporting design Target.

I was equally happy when they re-did their prescription bottles.

I can’t say anything else really until I use it. I’m not sure how lightweight I need a cart to be, but for older folks, or folks with kids that could be an issue.

I’ve steered it and the new Target cart is much heavier than an average grocery store cart. It’s mostly plastic and the gray parts looks recycled by looking at the grain.

I give it an A for effort. C for execution.

The good:

I’m sure that plastic ones will last as long as metal, but use far less energy to produce. Excellent.

I like the unique qualities of the Target design. The logo being echoed in the circles and contrast with the bumper and red basket.

The bad:

I’m sure this is heavy. The circular holes work to look like the logo, but this means more material than if they used square holes (which I’ve seen). So it is form over function. Take a look at punched metal sheets to see how much less open area you have with circular holes over a square mesh. It’s a big difference!

The circular holes and plastic design lead to another problem, visual weight. This thing almost looks solid and huge.

The confused:

They have a slot between the bumper and basket. Can anyone think of a functional reason for this? It would be hot if there was.

First off, if you live in the TC metro area, it is really easy to get really sick of target lol. theyre freekin everywhere here. But that being said, I do still like target.

I like the visual product testing, I’ll be using that in the future.

Last, I am a huge fan of target’s hand baskets, and these new carts seem to use that same design language which is great. Why is it the best designs are the ones where after you look at them, you think, duh, I can’t believe someone hasn’t taken 15 seconds to stand still and let someone else watch them hold a shopping basket and realize the handles are backwards.

I like how smooth and non-industrial it is. For tots and babies, the seat looks way more comfortable to sit in (I remember hating that metal mesh when I was younger. quite painful). I’m not too crazy about the colors. Gray and orange? Maybe it looks better in real life, but I think the target colors of red and white would have looked nicer. I kind of like how it looks heavy and sturdy. Better tough than flimsy. It’s about time someone redesigns the shopping cart for real!

I hope they come to my target soon

Calibrate your monitor! :slight_smile: Pretty sure that’s Target red.

i would think that the slots creates a handle bar around the whole cart which makes it easier to grab ahold of when not standing right behind it.

Calibrate your monitor! Pretty sure that’s Target red.

Ah, the colors aren’t so bad after all!


a left over from IDEO’s study ten years ago (as abuz above mentioned…)

the grey “Bumpers” are to hang things from. So when you buy the Mossimo, Merona or “CG” clothes on hangers, they don’t get wrinkled when you throw them in the cart with the fresh produce, 15" portable DVD player, dog food, lawn furniture, Splash wiper fluid, matching bathroom set and blow molded easter bunny.

I’ll give them credit for simply doing it. Shopping carts have been long overdue for a makeover.
This design doesn’t really seem to address any issues beyond brand identity (as far as I can tell from the photo).
This is a real shame.
As far as I’m concerned, the #1 function of a shopping cart should be to stay the hell away from my car.
The #2 function should be to trap my kids.
#3, of course, would be to roll smoothly and quietly.
I guess it would also need to hold groceries :slight_smile: , but I really don’t care what it looks like.

at least they did something!

I do see some quirks in execution though. For me the most stumbling effect is the “panel gap” between the two parts of the frame. The “C” like form motive of the “frame” is killed by using 2 colours of the 2 main parts and the gap line at this particular place.

And I am not sure that this “C” motive was a good idea to begin with.

thus I don’t see it as an particularly successful effort in product design.
… and you tell me it’s heavy as well…

I like the orange red colour though.

All the best.

Yours mo-i

P.S: Why is the concept of the shopping cart still taylored to a mum, who is shopping for her family. If we go to the supermarket we do need a lot more space for liquids and delicate things that should not be squashed. this big bin is useless for us!

Not a fan of that grey color.
But I noticed that the lift between the bottom of the basket and the bottom of the cart is kind of high. I never really had to use the bottom of the cart during my trips at Target. It would be nice if the hand baskets could fit underneath them though. But that lift is most likely like that for when they link the carts together.
And the childseat seems to have grown taller as well. Because most carts have shorter backs whilst this new one has a taller back, so that’s a good thing.

Wow it looks just like those icons I click on websites when I’m ready to check out! :wink:

Wow, waited 3 years to see this in store! Almost thought it got canned. Got to go to a Target to check it out myself.

I don’t think they were designed just for Target.

Here in Canada, the Rona home improvement chain has a bunch of plastic carts just like those. The colours, of course, have been adapted for the brand.

Probably some cart manufacturer that is making them more cheaply than the wire mesh versions.


Does Rona have the round holes though? This weekend, I feel like going to stores just to look at the shopping cars!

BTW, my local grocer replaced the carry baskets with baskets that have wheels and a handle like suit cases. Really convenient! Can’t find a pic on google, but I’ll snap a pic next time I shop.

i’m pretty sure this had no effect on the final design but…
A little extra heft might not be so bad in the cart since I personally know of a few older folk who use the cart to help ease their walking around a huge store. They lean on the cart a bit in order to support their balance if they get tired or have back problems etc.
Otherwise, I haven’t seen the new carts, most I’ve seen still have the old cross-hatched plastic style.

Extending the brand to the carts, i feel, is a good idea, although I think the huge rows of red carts lined up outside most Target stores is already kind of an icon in itself.

Good point… I wasn’t looking at it that carefully.

And those wheeled baskets are everywhere here in Ontario.