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The first Publix supermarkets were known for modern-day conveniences that attracted customers from miles away, such as scales, air conditioning, wide aisles and an automatic door.  

The shopping cart was also a new convenience. 

The shopping cart before Publix

Most grocery store shoppers are used to the sight of long lines of carts when they enter a Publix supermarket, but it wasn’t always this way. 

Before the shopping cart, customers only had a wicker or wire hand basket to carry their groceries.  

In 1936, Sylvan Nathan Goldman of Oklahoma invented something that is now common. Using the folding chair as inspiration, Goldman came up with the “folding basket carrier,” which was a metal frame holding two wire baskets, one on top of the other. 

Publix embraces a new convenience

Two years after shopping carts became available in grocery stores, George Jenkins introduced them for Publix customers. As Goldman had noticed a couple of years prior, customers were reluctant to use them at first. However, Publix customers trusted Jenkins and were not intimidated for long. The new shopping carts held more items and, ultimately, allowed for easier navigation through the aisles. 

Advancements since the shopping cart

Publix has upgraded the hand baskets from wire and wicker to plastic. Additionally, the company also has reusable bags for green-conscious customers. 

Also, all Publix stores can provide Caroline’s Carts to customers who need them. Caroline’s Cart is designed to accommodate individuals with disabilities so they can easily shop with their loved ones.