A Story About A Store That Lives Up To Its Motto (AKA: Shopping Cart Update)

8 comments
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Stew Leonard’s Motto: The Customer Is Always Right. A rare picture of my kids from the front – clearly my kids were not amused – my girl was annoyed at all the picture-taking, and my boy was screaming, “You promised me ice cream!!!” Photo property VLS.

Short version: THEY LISTENED!!! Stew Leonard’s listened to what you all had to say about the terrible double shopping carts and purchased some AWESOME carts!!

Long version: Back in January, I kicked off the new year with a rant about double shopping carts. In it, I called out my disappointment in Stew Leonard’s (Stew’s), a store whose motto is “The Customer is Always Right!” for seemingly not listening to moms who have repeatedly complained about the carts. As part of that story, I and CT Working Moms went on a mission to bring some attention to the issue, resulting in (more than) several thousand hits on the story, multiple re-shares on Facebook, and almost 3,000 “likes” on the post itself. Read the comments on the original post and you’ll see that it’s a widespread issue amongst moms with little kids.

This all started about springtime of 2012. Frustrated with the NASTY double carts that Stew’s had, I left a note in the customer suggestion box and urged them to contact me for more details. I never heard a word, and the carts never changed. Annoyed, I followed up several months later (August) by posting the following to their online suggestion box:

As a mom of twins (who has many twin mom friends along with several friends who have two or more young kids), I am thrilled to see that you have a handful of the double seated shopping carts; HOWEVER, they are really difficult to steer and navigate through your aisles especially when the store is remotely crowded. Since Stew’s is a great place for moms to shop, you might want to consider getting the shopping carts that have double wide seating as a default (Costco has them). Thanks.

I received the following response two weeks later:

Thanks for sharing your comment with us.  We will look into your suggestion.

Once again, silence. No followup, no changes to the carts.

Then in mid-2013, Stew’s posted a picture on their Facebook page of the AWESOME double shopping carts that they carry in Newington; a larger version of your traditional shopping cart that’s designed to hold two kids. The caption read, “If there are enough likes on this post, we will look into getting more of these carts at our other stores.” There was a flurry of activity, and the picture got more than “enough likes” but once again, no changes.

Annoyed and frustrated, I decided to take things into my own hands and wrote my post here on CT Working Moms. Good Morning Wilton – my go-to source for local news – posted a link to the story in part because in it, I thanked the two local Wilton retailers who listened to their customers. Twiniversity, a major site dedicated to moms of multiples, also added a link to the story on their Facebook site.

[Cue flurry of activity on the post.]

Determined, I emailed a note to Stew’s with readership stats but still received no response. I emailed again two weeks later, again with no response. Then our founder, Michelle Noehren, sent a note to Stew’s via Facebook with a link to the story, to which they finally responded:

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Lovely…I am officially “that annoying lady.”

Well, being annoying and having persistence pays off. The Director of Public Relations at Stew Leonard’s, also a mom of young twins, contacted me in late January to notify me that they were looking into the issue. She explained that part of the issue is that the carts in Newington are too wide to fit through the cash register bays in Norwalk. She assured me that the team was looking at options and continued to keep me informed throughout the process. In late February, I received the email I’d been waiting for – they had found an option that worked but told me it would be a few weeks before the carts came in:

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(DROOL)…the waiting was the hardest part.

Last week, I received an email from her telling me that the carts were in. 

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Aren’t they beautiful??!!

This process was nearly two years in the making and my kids are now at an age where they won’t have a chance to take advantage of the carts for much longer. However, I truly believe that Judgement Free Motherhood is about standing up for other moms who can benefit from our experiences, and I made it my mission to try to get SOMEONE to listen. Stew Leonard’s did.

So, to Twiniversity, Good Morning Wilton and all of our readers, thank you for reading, commenting, sharing and liking the original story. Without your help, this would have never been possible. And to Stew Leonard’s, on behalf of mothers of young kids, THANK YOU for living up to your motto.

P.S. Please don’t get rid of the old bench carts. Moms with more than two need those!!!

8 comments on “A Story About A Store That Lives Up To Its Motto (AKA: Shopping Cart Update)”

  1. Rock on Vivian, and Stew’s! My kids are 15 months apart, but we spent many a shopping trip pushing one carraige while pulling another when carts like this weren’t available. They make a huge difference!

    1. Oh, yes! I had to do that recently with the Stop and Shop shopping carts when I couldn’t get a double due to them being covered in snow, and NEITHER of my kids wanted to walk. They both HATE being put into the cart itself (as opposed to the seat), so I had to resort to doing the push/pull. Thank goodness that they recently got carts with new swivel wheels because it made maneuvering SO MUCH EASIER.

    2. We had the same experience at MANY stores due to the same age difference. The “double” carts at most stores were horrible (other than Costco or BJ).

  2. I LOVE THIS! I love that Stew’s listened to all the feedback and I love that your effort and activism on behalf of moms with multiple children paid off! Congrats Vivian!

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