If you are one of those people that like to know a little bit about everything, then you just might enjoy learning a few useless facts about the history of shopping.
For example, the first shopping mall was built in 1922 near Kansas City, Missouri, although the first enclosed mall was not until 1956 in Edina, Minnesota. Not much changed about malls until the 1980’s when the mega-mall came to be with the first being in Alberta, Canada. This mega-mall had more than 800 stores and included a hotel, mini-golf course, a church, a zoo and even a lake.
On the subject of shopping carts, the very first one is believed to have been invented by the owner of a Piggly-Wiggly grocery store chain in Oklahoma City by the name of Sylvan Goldman. It was 1936 and it was a crude sort of cart – just put together with a folding chair, some wheels and a couple wire baskets. It wasn’t until 1946 that shopping carts became sophisticated enough to fit inside one another. The newest addition to the shopping cart is an electronic device that keeps the cart from being stolen from the store.
Most people take those sliding doors at the grocery store for granted, but imagine that before the 1960’s shoppers had to open the door by hand which was somewhat awkward when pushing a cart.
If you think coupons have been around for a very long time, well, you are right – since 1895. The first coupon printed was for a free bottle of Coke. A number of things used today in stores have been around quite a while. Bar codes have been used since the early 1950’s and mechanical cash registers since the mid 1880’s.
So now you have a few more useless things to clutter up your mind but wow your friends with at the next backyard barbecue!