OPINION: The New Mini-Carts At Kalamazoo’s Gull Road Meijer Suck
Everyone has "THEIR" Meijer. When I first came to Michigan, it was the Gull Road Meijer in Kalamazoo, but it was under construction for renovations, and I was moving soon anyway. Eventually, the West Main Meijer became "My Meijer."
But, it was brought to my attention, that the Gull Road Meijer had recently finished it's renovations, and I just happened to need a few things after work. So, I figured I'd revisit my old stomping grounds. But even before I got in the door, one observation would ruin the whole trip... these new carts suck!
When Sylvan Goldman invented the shopping cart in Oklahoma City, at his Humpty Dumpty Supermarkets, they were a thing of beauty. Simple, elegant, functional. You didn't need to lug around baskets on your forearms anymore. You could do in one trip, what used to take two or three. It was perfect.
But years later, people realized those giant carts weren't necessary for people shopping for themselves, or just one or two things. So, the shopping cart, shrunk, and we got what we have today... or rather... HAD.
Traditionally, Meijer has the two-level blue carts, with the shallow baskets, and I love those carts.
But the new ones I saw at the Gull Road Meijer this week are an abomination to small carts everywhere. Sylvan Goldman would be ROLLING in his grave if he saw what was done!
I reached for my cart out front of the store, and thought I got a "runt." It was short, stubby, and handled strange. Like maybe, they ran out of "cart" material at the end of the production line, and just... pieced this one together with what was left.
Instead of a double-decker cart with shallow baskets, it's only ONE basket, and FULL depth. One of the best parts of the other carts was, I could reach over the "kid seat" and still grab stuff from the bottom of the basket - for those moments where I decide to put back the ready-made salad for a box of Ho-Ho's, because... we only live once people.
Also, I SWEAR the basket is deeper than even one of the regular baskets. I practically had to climb into the damn thing, just to get the orange juice out of the bottom. And don't think you can reach over the "kid seat" anymore. It's raised up even HIGHER off the basket. So if you do have a kid in there, they're not down in front of you, they're practically staring you in the eyes.
They did try some "cute" stuff with the kid seat area. It feels bigger, the seatbelt is adjustable and retracts, and there's a cup holder for your iced mocha frappe, and a holder for your phone, so you can see your grocery list.
Nice thought I guess... but unnecessary.
But the the absolute worst part about these carts... is where the basket is set on the "frame."
It LOOKS like they used the same-size bottom to the carts as the regular-sized carts, but that would look silly sticking out by a foot in front of the basket, right? So what did they do... THEY MOVED THE BASKET FORWARD!
The basket is now in the MIDDLE of the wheel frame, meaning the back wheels are RIGHT under the "handlebars," which ALSO means, someone like me who has a wider stance than usual... is just gonna kick those wheels through the ENTIRE store.
Not to mention, I tried to hop up on the back of it, and ride it out into the parking lot... because of the position shift, and the height of the cart in the back, you can't do it anymore. YOU CAN'T RUN AND RIDE THESE CARTS IN THE PARKING LOT!!!
Nope. I don't like them.
Bring back the double-decker carts that don't bruise my toes with ever step, that I can reach the bottom of without walking clear around it, that I can RIDE IN THE PARKING LOT like I'm 12 years old again.
I'm thankful My Meijer on West Main hasn't made this change yet, and if I have anything to do with it... they won't change. PLEASE, If you're in charge of the West Main Meijer.. KEEP THE DOUBLE DECKER MINI-CARTS! For the sake of my toes, and what remains of my childhood.