Since hitting the market, the ground-breaking Rolser shopping trolleys have caused a stir. Novela products have twice featured on Channel 4 television, and across the press, in countless magazines and newspapers.
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As seen in The Independent newspaper
Would you be seen dead with a shopping trolley? As a fashion statement, yesterday's models have all the appeal of a Zimmer frame on wheels. Better to endure the thumbscrew entanglement of plastic shopping bags than to trundle a trolley.
Now, Spanish designers have thought up the unthinkable: the trendy trolley. Aimed at young shoppers, of course. Keep an eye open for sleek, jazzy-coloured wheelies that look as if they would prefer to carry golf clubs rather than budgerigar seed.
If you can bring yourself to test-drive one, you will get a pleasant surprise - they are astonishingly light and manoeuverable, with rubber wheels five times the size of those horrid little castors whose characteristic hollow-sounding rumble-clunk on the pavement signals the advance of a shopper of advanced age.
In the past few years, the travel goods importer Melvyn Smallman of Hendon has sold these trendy trolleys - aluminium-framed ones made by the Spanish Rolser company, for whom he is sole distributor in the UK and Ireland.
As a market test, Mr Smallman lent a two-wheeled Mountain model to a friend of mine, Nicola Gavin, who put on a smart trouser suit like the Spanish models in Rolser's promotional brochures, stuffed a couple of pillow cases into its draw-string bag, and did a series of stylish burn-ups on the pavement outside the trendiest supermarket in the cosmos - Safeway, in King's Road, west London.
Alas, despite its two design medals, one Swiss, one Spanish, the trendy trolley encountered some resistance. "No way!" chorused a thirtysomething couple in designer denim. A puzzled young man in corduroy and face stubble said, "I don't know what it's trying to get at," and backed off it, nervously. But a hint of latent man-appeal came from a husband whose wife called it "horrible". He turned and retorted defiantly, "I like it!", as she led him away.
Ms Gavin, a 33-year-old sound assistant at the UK Living Television studios, does not own a car. It is plastic bags for her, not the careless cascade of groceries from supermarket wire trolley into Volvo. Which helps to explain why she refused to give back her test trolley. "It's really light and easy to move around," she said. "Great for a single person like me who can end up being dragged down by two bags of shopping in each hand. I find it even slides alongside a seat on a bus. It looks ace, too - not like those old granny trolleys. And so far I've run over only one person's foot."
After a week, the housekeeper of her block of flats, 57-year-old Rosa Rilla took a shine to Ms Gavin's new trolley and appropriated it. She has found it compact enough to hook on to supermarket trolleys as she makes her round of the shelves. "I used to have one of those horrible big square ones," she said, "bit it broke. This one is strong but easy to manage".
Her only regret: "I used to go shopping with Olga from flat seven. She would help me carry back seven or eight plastic bags full of shopping. But there is no need for her any more. I think she's a bit disappointed".
It takes a fiftysomething shopper to test a newfangled trolley to destruction. Sylvia Durbin, a domestic cleaner of Southall, Middlesex, who is a year older than Ms Rilla, bought one of the first four-wheeled Rolser imports for £55 and got 2,000 miles of pavement punishment out of it before the wheels "went wonky". Her doctor had warned her that carrying heavy shopping was not helping the pain in her joints. He also advised her to lose weight.
"I'm fitter now", she said, "and the problem with my joints seems to have stopped. I had been looking for a trolley that would carry a lot but still be compact and reasonably elegant. A lot of people have remarked on this one. It looks neat, tidy, fashionable, even quite expensive. It does feel light - the weight seems to be taken not by the arms but by the chassis."
"I don't blame younger women who wouldn't be seen dead with a traditional trolley", Mr Smallman said.
- By John Windsor, The Independent
As featured in The Observer Magazine
"The Green Gauge - Going up"
"Could Granny's favourite, the shopping trolley, save us from the plastic bag? The Rolser range is lightweight and super-stylish"
Awarded best 'funky design' by Good Housekeeping 'tried and tested'
Wheeled Shoppers (July 2007)
Wheeled shoppers - the answer to green grocery shopping?
"If you can get over the old fashioned image associated with wheeled shopping bags, they really are the most sensible answer to avoiding a mountain of plastic bags and a good way of limiting the quantity of food you buy, cutting down on waste.
Not only are they now available in some eye catching designs but some can fold so small you can tuck them under your arm or keep them in the boot of your car."
"We tested eight shoppers, packing them full of packets, tins, fresh food and wheeling them over rough and smooth terrain, round corners and up and down stairs and kerbs to see if both the food and the tester survived."
Rolser Mountain Psico, £72
Empty weight: 2.0kg
"Lightest of the three flat folding designs. It has two useful zip pockets including one in the lid for small items. The handle is quite high so would be best for taller users. Good, large capacity and it pushes and pulls easily over all terrains."
As seen in The Daily Telegraph newspaper
Paris's markets beat schlepping around Tesco's on a Saturday, says Xanthe Clay.
"... Arm yourself with a fistful of euros, a good map and plenty of sturdy bags (the flimsy carriers handed out by stall holders don't survive five minutes).
Best of all is a shopping bag on wheels, an accessory that's lost its dowdy granny image and been reinvented in funky designs and bright colours. Rolser does some of the best."
As seen in The Guardian Newspaper
"If you don't drive a car and you can't do the Italian shopping every day thing, then you need to do the odd bit of bulk buying: the answer is one of those shopping trolleys your nan uses - which you would not be seen dead with. Fortunately, a couple of Spanish designers have stepped into the breach. Rolser sells wheelybags that still require a bit of nerve to carry, but are addictive once you're used to it."
Featured in Good Housekeeping's "The Good Housekeeper special"
"We're sitting in the open plan kitchen diner of EastEnders star Lindsey Coulson's Edwardian London semi. I'm here to interview her about housekeeping habits for our Return of the Good Housekeeper special .....
I head through the hallway with its clutter-free original Edwardian floor tiles and Lindsey stops by the front door. 'Oh, this is my trolley,' she says, by way of introduction. 'It's a Rolser,' she adds. It's pink, gorgeous and not a bit granny-ish. (I'd show it off too, if it was mine). As I leave, I decide that yes, Lindsey is a good conscientious housekeeper - and a stylish one at that."
Featured on the Conscientious Consumerism page of the Miranda Newsom blog
Bags of fun - Shopping smarter ...
"When you don’t own a car, shopping is a risky business. My eyes are usually bigger than my biceps, and there's a real risk of a sprained wrist on the long walk home. At times like these a pushchair becomes not a burden but a blessing, doubling up as a handy trolley. Alas my son’s pushchair days are almost over, so I’m going to have to find another way to transport bits and bobs. I do sometimes nip to the shops with a pushchair sans toddler, but I'm tiring of the “You forgot the baby!” jokes. Besides, it’s really not a good look.
So now I'm planning my transformation into 21st-century trolley dolly. Shopping trolleys used to rank just a smidge above the Zimmer frame in the fashion stakes, but today's trolleys are going trendy – amazing what a splash of colour can do. If these smart shoppers persuade people to walk to the high street instead of driving to out-of-town superstores, they qualify as an ethical investment in my book (organic cotton or not).
The pink 'Orbita', £62 (top), and psychedelic 'PSICO', £70 from Rolser are not for shy and retiring types but ideal for those who want to end the shopping trolley stigma with a loud, proud fashion statement."
'Buy a Rolser' - One of Scotland on Sunday's 10 e-commandments
"HAPPY new year. Broken any resolutions yet? I know I have. So, it's in this mood of glorious failure that I've decided not to bombard you with green resolutions. Instead, here are ten simple ways to make your world greener in 2008.
Make this the year you stop collecting carrier bags and buy a hardy shopping bag or one of those trolleys that little old ladies use. I joke not – it'll take the pressure off your back and you can even get funky ones. Check out their website if you don't believe me."
Featured in the Woking News and Mail
"Ditch the plastic and go fantastic"
"This pop art product from Rolser is just one of a range of novel designs that help put a bit of bling into your shopping.
Proving that shopping trolleys are not just for those who have passed over the hill, the company offers a range of bright contemporary designs for its range of trolleys and reusable bags."
Recommended in glowgetter.co.uk's "We Love" section
"New way to Zoom - The Rolser"
"We're all being encouraged to reuse bags when we shop and do our bit for the planet - and now you can do it in style. Less granny-style trolley, more eco-fashionista wheelie bag, the Rolser saves you the inconvenience of carrying back-breaking bags and comes in a range of zesty colours."
Rolser products reviewed on the Basics4Baby Website
"Welcome to the future - no longer are shopping trolleys the sole domain of the elderly now that the Rolser Trolley has arrived. Bright, funky, fashionable, they are now a must have fashion accessory. Of course, they are also super sturdy,light,very easy to use and you can stash a whole load of shopping inside too! Buy one today - it will change your life!"
Also featured in the Daily Mail's Weekend magazine
.... on the 'Richard and Judy' Channel 4 Website
... in the Daily Express Christmas Gift Guide
... Channel 4's 'The Big Breakfast'
... and House and Home Ideas magazine