Wal-Mart is set to unveil the latest member of their family this spring. This item will not be gracing their shelves however, but their sales floor itself. Self Shopping Carts will be introduced in late March to select stores and will be in all stores by May 5th.
"We are very excited about this! Our customers will we pleased with the ease of shopping in our stores!" said one Wal-Mart representative.
The latest model of several prototypes of these carts allows the consumer to add the items they wish to purchase on a computer screen located at the front of the store. The computer will then assign them a cart number and a wait time. As the carts roam the store, collecting the items; shoppers will enjoy the snack bar, hair salon, or the arcade while they wait.
"You could even go home, to the movies, or somewhere else while the carts do your shopping!" Says developer Jacob Smartipantz.
These carts may be our first step into a new world of technology. Imagine such conveniences at the mall, book store, or other shopping areas. These thoughts have crossed the minds of health experts.
"In today's society, shopping is really the only exercise people get! Are they really going to take that away?" Said Dr. Grace Lardacious, founder of the National Exercise in Ordinary Places Council (NEIOP).
The NEIOP (NE-OP) has been encouraging people to exercise in ordinary places for years. They see shopping malls and grocery stores as perfect, safe places to get the daily amount of exercise one needs to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
"If we can't roam about in these places, we are left with smelly gyms, parks over-ran with thugs, kidnappers, and children, and it's no fun to exercise at home!" Says Joan Fountian, a member of NEIOP for several years now.
When asked about these concerns, Wal-Mart officials had no comment. One Wal-Mart associate did tell this reporter that the carts will make working there loads easier.
"... more time in the john fer me!" He was quoted as saying.
Laziness on the rise? Shopping made easier? Health risks waiting to happen? Only time will tell. Wal-Mart seems excited enough about the new addition to its stores. As for this reporter, No more long lines for me!