PSA to Target on Vets: How to Make Your Store Mom Friendly!

Like most moms, I absolutely love Target. The prices are great, I always find something fun that I really didn’t need, and I can tackle most of my shopping in one trip. Plus, their fountain diet cokes are delish. However, the Target on Veterans drives me absolutely crazy for one little reason. I am no business consultant, but I am virtually certain that Target is missing out on hundreds of dollars in sales every single day because of one fatal flaw: the shopping carts are way.too.small.

Last week I ventured out to Target with my three month old. Her older brother was at school, so we had some quality photo-192mother/daughter shopping time. I really only needed a few things: diapers, wipes, water and diet coke. But stopping there would be no fun whatsoever, and I consider no trip to Target complete without at least one extra “happy.” Since I was buying larger items, I decided to grab one of those shopping carts with the extra space on the front, both because the seats serve as storage and because these carts actually have room to place things underneath. Despite my willingness to drive this army tank through the store, it was still not big enough! I generally time my shopping trips around naptime, and Hadley cooperated like a perfect angel and fell asleep on the ride to the store. Therefore, I left her in her carrier (never, ever, ever wake a sleeping baby, right?) and placed the carrier in the cart. But has anyone noticed that once you do that there is literally no room for anything else? I mean, seriously. Where is a mom supposed to fit the wine? Or the clearance holiday items? Or the yoga pants that accidentally jump off the rack and into your cart? In all seriousness, even if I had genuinely needed to buy more items, like let’s say dog food or laundry detergent, I was literally out of room. Here I was in the Target on Veterans with a sleeping baby and the store virtually to myself – you know, basically mom heaven – and there was no point in browsing! In addition to not holding very much, these big carts are impossible to steer, so I got quite a few looks from other shoppers as I clumsily crashed my cart into Easter candy displays trying to navigate the aisles.

I suppose I could have placed my baby in her Baby K’tan carrier, but that always wakes her up, which would totally defeat the purpose. And where in the heck would I have put my toddler if he had been with me, too? Target, don’t you know that it’s a mom’s dream to get two children out of the house alive and in one piece and to your store? But once we’re there, we’d like to actually be able to fit everything we need into the cart! This is a serious design flaw, in my opinion. Wouldn’t it be brilliant if someone designed a shopping cart compatible with infant carriers somehow?

Plus, the Target on Veterans has an added challenge: unless you’re willing to drive one of the SUV carts pictured above, there is absolutely NO storage space under the cart! I understand that this photo-194is because of the unique two story feature of this particular Target, but it’s another terrible design flaw. If you have a sleeping baby in a carrier in the basket and a toddler in the seat of the cart, you can essentially humor yourself by walking up and down the aisles. Since Target is my favorite store, that actually sounds like a lot of fun to me, but it’d be nice to actually accomplish something from the “to do” list while I’m there, you know? I’m no genius, but here’s another proposed solution: most moms probably choose to park in the covered garage at this Target because you can walk easily into the store, and it’s easy for rainy days. Knowing this, and knowing that most of the baby/children’s and grocery items are all on that same level, why not offer some extra huge grocery carts with lots of space on the bottom under the cart? Sure, they may not be compatible with the escalator contraption, but as long as they fit on the elevator, I could even venture downstairs to get paper towels and toilet paper if I wanted to. But mostly I’d be happy with a large grocery cart that was designed to stay on the second floor so that I could fit more, but if Target could figure out a way for the infant carrier to snap on safely as well then that’d be an extra bonus. I mean, my husband may hate the Target bill, but I’d be happy!

The irony photo-195in this entire post, which I composed in my head as I walked back to the car last week, is that upon returning to my SUV I realized that my vehicle, which is designed to be a “family car” with lots of cargo room, actually can’t accommodate much more than I purchased anyway! Does anyone else have this issue? Our trunk is totally tapped out with the single BOB and a trip to Target. Yikes! Is it me or have SUV trunks shrunken in size recently? Our double BOB, which by the way I am also not strong enough to lift, doesn’t even fit in the trunk! So I suppose this is also a PSA to Nissan: please design better cargo space for my trips to Target and strollers. I fully realize that the individuals who invented Diapers.com are essentially geniuses, but I really appreciate getting out of the house and am hoping that someone somewhere at Tar-jay will read this and solve my lame problems. A girl can dream, right?

Who’s with me in these dilemmas? If you’ve ever had similar thoughts while shopping at Target (or elsewhere) please share so I know that I am not alone!

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Ashley is the Co-Owner of New Orleans Mom, Red Stick Mom and Lafayette Mom, now the largest network of parenting websites in South Louisiana. Proud graduates of the University of Virginia, she and her husband Blaise spent time in Tampa and Scottsdale prior to settling down back home in New Orleans, something they both said "would never happen." An avid runner, she'll try any workout at least once and is always up for sweating with friends. When she’s not shuttling her 3 very active kids to school, gymnastics or baseball, you can find her cheering for the Saints, trying new restaurants or spending time with family and friends. She's also not afraid to return mediocre books to the library before finishing them because life is too short for bad books. A native New Orleanian, Ashley loves exploring and discovering the beauty of South Louisiana through her growing children's eyes.

20 COMMENTS

  1. The smaller infant carriers used to fit in those Target front seat baskets sideways. The newer, larger ones don’t.

    I actually don’t always like the newer plastic ones at Target in Esplanade either, for kids out if carriers. The plastic part doesn’t seem to stay back. After I moved I did a ton of shopping with my 2 year old in the cart. As the cart filled up, the seat started pushing forward! I was nervous about her getting smushed! The infant carriers fit, though.

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