Figures out today reveal an unexpected upturn in retail sales for the month of January, with many shops that sell those 'old bag' shopping trolleys (pictured) reporting a huge increase in demand.
The trolleys are the preferred method of conveying goods from the supermarket, of old ladies, but recently they've become popular with shoppers of all ages. They consist of a lightweight steel frame covered in cheap patterned fabric, and can be dragged along on two pram wheels. High-end models are equipped with four wheels. All are shit.
The sudden increase in interest has caught manufacturers by surprise. The Rochdale firm, Cripple Trolleys, has taken on extra staff to deal with the demand, and two others - LazyBones Carts of Redditch, and The Purple Rinse Luggage Co. in Sheffield - are in the process of following suit.
The last time the 'old bag' shopping trolley was this popular, was way back in 1979, when Mrs Thatcher was Prime Minister, and old women everywhere came out of their homes and onto the streets in their millions to emulate her Iron Lady stance. With their shopping trolleys.
It's thought that the sudden popularity of the trolleys might be connected to the introduction of charging 5p for plastic carrier bags at supermarkets and other shops, and customers' reluctance to pay this.